China Places Date For Crewed Moon Landing

June 23rd, 2006 | researchmaterial

China plans a manned lunar mission by 2024 that will include a walk on the moon’s surface, a top Chinese scientist was quoted as saying in a Hong Kong newspaper.

The announcement by lunar program vice director Long Lehao shows long-term preparations are moving ahead for the country’s ambition space exploration program.

The program went into overdrive following China’s first successful manned space mission in 2003 and may include a spacewalk by an additional manned mission next year.

Named “Chang’e” after a mythical Chinese moon-inhabiting fairy, the lunar program will begin with the launch next spring of a 2-ton moon orbiting satellite, the program’s chief scientist Ouyang Ziyuan was quoted as saying in the official Shanghai Daily newspaper.

The orbiter is due to stay in space at least a year and record images of the lunar surface, study lunar microwaves, the distribution of usable metals, and the thickness of lunar soil.

Long, who is Ouyang’s deputy, was quoted by Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed Wen Wei Po on Monday as saying the moon walk will be preceded by the landing of a robot explorer on the moon’s surface in 2017 that will return with a chunk of the lunar surface on board.

The program envisions landing a vehicle by 2020 on the moon that would collect soil samples and conduct other tests, possibly in preparation for a manned lunar base…


ISS Is Deafening Astronauts

June 23rd, 2006 | researchmaterial

Six years after launch, the International Space Station’s living quarters are still noisier than they should be. Now Russian news reports say that astronaut Bill McArthur and cosmonaut Valery Tokarev returned from their six-month stay aboard the ISS in April 2006 with some hearing loss.

NASA will not discuss the health of individual astronauts, but spokesperson Kylie Clem told New Scientist: “It’s not an impedance to operations or crew health or safety. It’s more of a comfort level issue.”

Former astronaut Jay Buckey, now at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, New Hampshire, US, says that both temporary and permanent hearing loss were recorded after flights on the Soviet and Russian Salyut and Mir stations, even for stays as short as seven days. The lost hearing was usually at higher frequencies.

The living quarters of the ISS are the Russian Zvezda module, which is the noisiest module on the station. NASA says the goal is for the working area to have noise levels at or below 60 decibels (dB) and sleep bunks to be 50dB. At their peak several years ago, noise levels reached 72 to 78dB in the working area and 65 dB in the sleep stations. Decibels are measured on a logarithmic scale, meaning, for example, that 60dB is 10 times louder than 50dB…

( is down, so I’m putting this here)


links for 2006-06-22

June 22nd, 2006 | Uncategorized

The Annotated SCOTT PILGRIM, Part 1

June 22nd, 2006 | comics talk

For the PILGRIMheads in the audience: Bryan Lee O’Malley begins an annotation of the books. Hope he gets further with it than I did with my DESOLATION JONES notes

Tarkovsky’s Polaroids

June 22nd, 2006 | photography

Polaroid shots by Andrei Tarkovsky. I should try another photo book, one of these days…