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Jigsaw
2002-May-22, 04:52 AM
Or are the Chinese just dreamin'?

I read this (http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/05/21/china.astronauts.reut/index.html):

...Beijing spent more than two years selecting and preparing its first batch of 14 astronauts, two of whom have even been to Russia for training...[bolding mine]
and I'm, like, "Geeeez..." Two of them have even been to Russia for training, wooo.

They scare me, they really do. What are the odds that they can pull this off without getting someone killed? Or without their spacecraft simply falling apart in midair?

It sounds like they've basically got all their moms and grandmas sewing their spacesuits at home or something, too. I mean, is it possible to start a manned spaceflight program from scratch with no money, no experience, just a lot of willpower?

I just keep getting the feeling that it's like one of those Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movies, "Hey, kids, let's put on a show!" except that these kids are trying to build a moon rocket.

And this scares me, too:

The country is also determined to use as much homegrown technology as possible -- from 36 square metres (387.5 sq ft) Chinese-designed solar panels to more than 20 types of food stuffed in "compressed bricks and toothpaste tubes," the Wenhui Daily said.
I'm sitting here with my Made in China bathrobe and my Made in China coffee mug and my Made in China slippers, and I'm wondering whether I'd trust a Made in China rocketship to carry me to the Moon.

And back again.

Which, after all, is the most important thing, isn't it? Getting home again.

Conrad
2002-May-22, 09:30 AM
I can't really answer whether it's feasible for the Chinese to go to the Moon or not, but I do have questions to ask (apologies if these are answered in the article you linked to). What kind of experience do they have in rocketry? What kind of big bore rockets do they have capable of getting to the Moon? How long have they had an astronaut training programme? Have they "bought in" Russian expertise at all? Are they sub-contracting with different nations for equipment? Are they obtaining information or support from the US or Russia? Do they intend to go to the Moon straight away or via a succession of intermediate missions?

"Going to the Moon" with a manned mission isn't something you can set up overnight or even within a year or two.

Argos
2002-May-22, 12:30 PM
Why not? I suppose they have lots of brains among 1,3 billion people. It's kind a prejudice to say they are incapable. If the "west" doesn't trust their technology, so why all the fear? Would you trust a chinese nuclear missile? The people of India do. The Taiwanese also. The Nepalese...

You should remember that American made spaceships have had their share of failure. But you never heard of a russian spaceship killing six persons at once. You never heard of a chinese rocket failing.

I think this kind of eurocentered view does not help to clarify all the implications of the Chinese becoming space masters.

We'd better get used to the idea that the space is not an American/Russian province anymore. And here comes Japan, India, Brazil, Japan, France and all that jazz. And these guys are working seriously, doing their best. Watch out! here comes helter-skelter!:D

Argos
2002-May-22, 12:44 PM
On 2002-05-22 05:30, Conrad wrote:

"Going to the Moon" with a manned mission isn't something you can set up overnight or even within a year or two.



What about seven years? America took seven years starting almost from scratch to put a man on the Moon. The Chinese are much more advanced in space affairs today than the Americans were back in 1962, when Kennedy proposed getting to the Moon "til the end of the decade". Who can really assess the Chinese capabilities at this time? Seven years is just a wink for the 3000-year old Chinese empire. And you know what? I like those obliquous-eyed people. I wish them luck.

Simon
2002-May-22, 01:20 PM
If ANYONE wants to take a shot at manned space travel, I'm willing to say "more power to them."

That settled, China isn't exactly unprepared. They've sent up three unmanned test capsules, and I haven't heard about any failures in them. 'Course, that might just be because they never said anything about the failures, but still. They DO have a fair amount of experience launching unmanned rockets. Go to www.astronautix.com and take a look at the news articles; there's some interesting stuff there. There's also a Space.com (http://www.space.com/news/china_space_020521.html) article.

Personally, I think they'll pull off a manned launch, they've been working on it for quite a while. Their space-program is built on more than duct-tape and wishes. The more important question is whether they'll bother to keep sending men up, or whether they'll let it fade away like Apollo did.

TinFoilHat
2002-May-22, 02:33 PM
On 2002-05-22 08:30, Argos wrote:
But you never heard of a russian spaceship killing six persons at once.
I've never heard of a russian spaceship physically capable of carrying six people at once. I have heard of a russian spaceship killing three people at once, the maximum it could carry.

You never heard of a chinese rocket failing.

Sure I have. I've even heard of chinese rockets failing during launch, crashing down onto a populated area, and killing dozens of civilians. Much like cold-war-era Russia, China is eager to publicize their sucesses yet cover up their failures.

CJSF
2002-May-22, 03:03 PM
I don't think you meant to come off sounding that arrogant or prejudiced, Jigsaw, but you sort of did.

The Chinese have put a massive amount of time, effort and money into their space program. It IS quite ambitious and they may need to scale down their expectations as they progress. Unlike the Soviet and US space programs, the Chinese have our (and ESA's and Japan's and India's, etc., etc.) experience and technology to draw from... some of it obtained legitimately, and some no doubt covertly. I think they stand a good chance of success.

While China has siginificant social and economic woes, they have a strong technological base and brilliant, resourceful individuals and institutions.

CJSF

Mespo_Man
2002-May-22, 03:25 PM
"You should remember that American made spaceships have had their share of failure. But you never heard of a russian spaceship killing six persons at once...."

True Argos. The Russians managed to kill 50 in one shot.

"March 18, 1980: Fifty technicians die at Russia's Plesetsk Cosmodrome when a Vostok booster explodes while being fuelled. The incident is reported only in 1989."

Check out...

Space program failures (http://www.guardian.co.uk/spacedocumentary/story/0%2C2763%2C200523%2C00.html)

Line by the watch sergant from the old TV show Hill Street Blues. "Let's be careful out there".

(:raig

Diogenes
2002-May-22, 04:19 PM
We might do well to keep in mind that the spaceship earth is going to be uninhabitale in a few billion years. Any effort that expedites the evacuation of this doomed ship is worthwhile.

Also, a few people dying in a space program seems trivial (I know, not to their family and friends)compared to the thousands that die everyday in the natural order of things.

We really need to get over the idea, that the highly publicized demise of pseudo celebrities (by virtue of their chosen occupation)is somehow more tragic, or a greater loss to humankind than the death of any other human being in the daily course of our lives.

"It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others."
John Andrew Holmes

SiriMurthy
2002-May-22, 05:16 PM
On 2002-05-22 00:52, Jigsaw wrote:
Or are the Chinese just dreamin'?

I read this (http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/05/21/china.astronauts.reut/index.html):

...Beijing spent more than two years selecting and preparing its first batch of 14 astronauts, two of whom have even been to Russia for training...[bolding mine]
and I'm, like, "Geeeez..." Two of them have even been to Russia for training, wooo.

They scare me, they really do. What are the odds that they can pull this off without getting someone killed? Or without their spacecraft simply falling apart in midair?

It sounds like they've basically got all their moms and grandmas sewing their spacesuits at home or something, too. I mean, is it possible to start a manned spaceflight program from scratch with no money, no experience, just a lot of willpower?

I just keep getting the feeling that it's like one of those Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney movies, "Hey, kids, let's put on a show!" except that these kids are trying to build a moon rocket.

And this scares me, too:

The country is also determined to use as much homegrown technology as possible -- from 36 square metres (387.5 sq ft) Chinese-designed solar panels to more than 20 types of food stuffed in "compressed bricks and toothpaste tubes," the Wenhui Daily said.
I'm sitting here with my Made in China bathrobe and my Made in China coffee mug and my Made in China slippers, and I'm wondering whether I'd trust a Made in China rocketship to carry me to the Moon.

And back again.

Which, after all, is the most important thing, isn't it? Getting home again.



Why not? Do you believe that the Americans went to the Moon and came back - alive? Moreover that was over 30 years ago.

Valiant Dancer
2002-May-22, 05:21 PM
On 2002-05-22 10:33, TinFoilHat wrote:


On 2002-05-22 08:30, Argos wrote:
But you never heard of a russian spaceship killing six persons at once.
I've never heard of a russian spaceship physically capable of carrying six people at once. I have heard of a russian spaceship killing three people at once, the maximum it could carry.

You never heard of a chinese rocket failing.

Sure I have. I've even heard of chinese rockets failing during launch, crashing down onto a populated area, and killing dozens of civilians. Much like cold-war-era Russia, China is eager to publicize their sucesses yet cover up their failures.


I've heard of 92 people being killed by a Russian space vehicle. It's called the Nedelin disaster or Biakonur blast. October 24, 1960, most of the soviet rocket program scientists became flambe.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/r16_disaster.html

The Russians didn't admit to this publicly until 1989.

The other problem with his argument is that current Chinese rockets are incapable of striking the US mainland. (They lack the range) There is no amount of special pleading which would convince me that the Chinese would not deeply want a vehicle capable of striking the US mainland. If they can't make it to the US, the moon is a heckuva way longer off.

I don't see the Chinese moon shot being probable for 10-15 years.

David Hall
2002-May-22, 06:23 PM
On 2002-05-22 13:21, Valiant Dancer wrote:

I've heard of 92 people being killed by a Russian space vehicle. It's called the Nedelin disaster or Biakonur blast. October 24, 1960, most of the soviet rocket program scientists became flambe.

http://www.russianspaceweb.com/r16_disaster.html

The Russians didn't admit to this publicly until 1989.


Thanks for the link. This is the first time I've read the details about it.

I had always assumed the tests were part of the Soviet space program, but it seems instead to have been a test of a new missle for military purposes. Don't you think that this doesn't apply as a space disaster then, since it wasn't directly related to space exploration? (Although it's true that the technology developed would have been applied to space launches also.)



The other problem with his argument is that current Chinese rockets are incapable of striking the US mainland. (They lack the range)

I don't see the Chinese moon shot being probable for 10-15 years.


The Chinese just finished a test mission of their manned orbital capsule, complete with mannequins to simulate passengers. How can they put such a thing into orbit and still not have the capability to reach the USA?

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/shenzhou_launch_020325.html

They are hoping to put a man into orbit within the next year or so, so they may closer to the moon than you would think. One advantage they have is that they don't have to figure everything out from scratch, the hard work of discovery has already been done for them. They also have the advantage of 30 years of technological and scientific advancements over the original Apollo missions. It'll be a piece of cake for them compared to what we had to go through.

My feeling is, if they can get a man into orbit and back within the next year, then there's a pretty good chance of them also getting to the moon by the end of the decade (assuming they really are determined to go). If they suffer setbacks, then of course it would also delay a moon shot as well.

Azpod
2002-May-22, 10:13 PM
On 2002-05-22 13:21, Valiant Dancer wrote:

The other problem with his argument is that current Chinese rockets are incapable of striking the US mainland. (They lack the range) There is no amount of special pleading which would convince me that the Chinese would not deeply want a vehicle capable of striking the US mainland. If they can't make it to the US, the moon is a heckuva way longer off.

I don't see the Chinese moon shot being probable for 10-15 years.




The Chinese can launch a unmanned vechicle into orbit, and bring it back to Earth safely. Do the math. If they can achieve this task, then they can launch a warhead and strike any point on the Earth. The same rocket that they used to lauch the unmanned probe into orbit has the range to lob a nuke onto any city in the United States.

It's only a slight difference in trajectory.

If they mean to make it to the moon by 2010, I think they can do it. The only thing that can stop them is the funding and the willpower to develop the technology to make it to the Moon. Yes, it's ambitious... but that's why that I'll cheer as loudly as anyone in China when they become the second nation to place a person on the Lunar surface.

Maybe the U.S. should remember what it's like to be ambitious and take a clue from the Chinese. If we don't, maybe they'll get ambitious and make it to Mars while we're still debating how they managed to make it to the Moon.

roidspop
2002-May-23, 01:15 AM
Actually, the Chinese do have ICBMs capable of striking the US. And there was an interesting article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1997000/1997747.stm

As to reaching the moon, it seems that they are in a good position to make the attempt, surely as strong a position as the Russians or the US in the early sixties. Like both of the superpowers of that time, they have mastered heavy rocketry and are at a point where they have the necessary hardware and experience to undertake Vostok/Mercury/Soyuz type programs at will. They can also quickly move to an N1 type program without having to develop an entirely new family of rocket engines if that is their choice. The US, in the early sixties, had no booster similar to the Russian R7 and we had to do a standing broadjump up to the Saturn-class vehicles; the Russian response was a gigantic super-cluster called the N1, a rocket still based on their standard engine technology. Saturn was a brilliant success...N1 a terrible failure. But technological advances probably would make an N1-like booster vastly more reliable now. Could they build one? Without a doubt. Could it fly a lunar mission? Probably with the same level of risk as a Saturn.

They have demonstrated the rocketry, the guidance, the aerodynamics, the life support and all other elements for a successful manned orbital mission, but they seem to be proceeding much more cautiously than either the USSR or the US did. Surely within a year or two they will launch their first astronauts. If it becomes politically or economically expedient for the Chinese to go to the moon, their system will ensure that the necessary resources are devoted to the attempt and they will probably succeed. It is instructive to remember that one of the proposed missions the Russians were actively pursuing when their program was shut down was a long-duration lunar base; had they succeeded with that, it would have made Apollo seem like a rather shabby stunt. Surely the Chinese are aware of the opportunities along these lines. It is almost certain that they also are aware of the "High Frontiers" concepts of Gerard O'Neill...who knows? Someday we may be buying power from a Chinese solar power satellite built with lunar materials.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: roidspop on 2002-05-22 22:01 ]</font>

Jigsaw
2002-May-23, 02:16 AM
Thanx for the tech input, guys. That's actually what I was looking for--"do they actually have the tech know-how, the tech support, to be able to pull this off? Or are they just blowing smoke, and gonna sacrifice some astronauts to the cause of saving face?"

I didn't mean to sound arrogant or Eurocentric--I'm actually just sitting here biting my nails in anxiety for these guys selected to be the first Chinese astronauts. You know, in the U.S. and in Russia, when they get a new batch of astronauts, hey, it's Party Time! They trot them out for the media, they do the press conference thing, you see their names and faces and a biography. But what makes me bite my nails in anxiety about the Chinese space program is that their astronauts seem to be just "generic" astronauts. I haven't seen any info on who they are. I wonder, paranoidly, if the Chinese Powers That Be consider them just interchangeable, disposable cogs in the State machinery.

And that maybe it doesn't matter--much--to the Chinese Powers That Be whether the rocket ship actually works, as long as it can be demonstrated to the rest of the world that the Chinese are trying to play the game just like everybody else.

That's what I'm worried about. And that's why I wanted to know whether they actually have the tech capabilities to pull this off.

Roidspop sounds like maybe they actually do, so I feel a little bit better now. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Jrodens
2002-May-23, 02:18 AM
I was wondering if China would be the best place to launch a rocket from anyways. I mean its fairly far from the equator and has pretty unpredictable weather. Also would the benifts of launching a man into space be that great for the Chinese. I mean American, French, British, Russian and other astronauts have already done it. It's not that big of a deal.

Argos
2002-May-23, 12:03 PM
On 2002-05-22 12:19, Diogenes wrote:

Also, a few people dying in a space program seems trivial (I know, not to their family and friends)compared to the thousands that die everyday in the natural order of things.



That's the point! Space is for the brave.

Simon
2002-May-23, 01:13 PM
Actually, I believe the real question comes down to whether the politicians just want to say they can, or whether they actually mean to. I'd say that if the US had the technology to go to the moon in 1969, the Chinese have the technology to do it now. But the only reason that the US doesn't go back to the moon now is that no politicians want to spend the money for it. It's a matter of desire, not technology or infrastructure. If you have the first, it's easy to get the last two, even if you don't have them already.

Valiant Dancer
2002-May-23, 03:22 PM
On 2002-05-22 14:23, David Hall wrote:


The other problem with his argument is that current Chinese rockets are incapable of striking the US mainland. (They lack the range)

I don't see the Chinese moon shot being probable for 10-15 years.


The Chinese just finished a test mission of their manned orbital capsule, complete with mannequins to simulate passengers. How can they put such a thing into orbit and still not have the capability to reach the USA?

http://www.space.com/missionlaunches/shenzhou_launch_020325.html

They are hoping to put a man into orbit within the next year or so, so they may closer to the moon than you would think. One advantage they have is that they don't have to figure everything out from scratch, the hard work of discovery has already been done for them. They also have the advantage of 30 years of technological and scientific advancements over the original Apollo missions. It'll be a piece of cake for them compared to what we had to go through.

My feeling is, if they can get a man into orbit and back within the next year, then there's a pretty good chance of them also getting to the moon by the end of the decade (assuming they really are determined to go). If they suffer setbacks, then of course it would also delay a moon shot as well.




The information I was relying on was from 1998.

http://www.defencejournal.com/dec98/chinese-missile.htm

I don't believe that the Chinese will solve the safety problems of the early space program in less than 10 years. I'm not saying it's not possible, I'm saying it will take them a lot of time. If they rush, it will cost them a few astronauts as well.

There is a big difference between a rocket needed to propel a payload to orbit and one to propel a payload to the moon. The only rockets capable of propelling a heavy spacecraft and landing vehicle to the moon are in a disassembled state next to two American NASA sites. The Saturn V booster is the only vehicle in existance (of which only two remain, both are displays for NASA) is capable of pushing that much weight to the moon. The US had a horrible time of it. The Chinese will be starting from scratch in this regard.

(Azpod, there is a big difference between a few hundred pound satelite/warhead/space capsule and a several thousand pound capsule, lander, and second stage (complete with fuel) lunar insertion orbiter. )

The current Chinese space program is nearing the Project Mercury stage. (like the first capsule shots on the Redstone platform of 5/1959)It took the US until 1967 to get a workable launch platform for the moon (Saturn V).

These are not simple engineering feats just because someone else did them 30 years ago. It is still going to be a daunting task which will take a lot of time, truckloads of cash, and inspired, talented people.

Ilya
2002-May-23, 05:54 PM
You know, in the U.S. and in Russia, when they get a new batch of astronauts, hey, it's Party Time! They trot them out for the media, they do the press conference thing, you see their names and faces and a biography. But what makes me bite my nails in anxiety about the Chinese space program is that their astronauts seem to be just "generic" astronauts. I haven't seen any info on who they are.


Soviet Union used to be the same way. They announced NOTHING beforehand. Secrecy is the nature of Communism.



I wonder, paranoidly, if the Chinese Powers That Be consider them just interchangeable, disposable cogs in the State machinery.


Are you kidding?? In China EVERYONE is an interchangeable cog - it is part of their philosophy, far more so than was ever in the USSR. Just to give an example relevant to this board:

You know that comets are always named after their discoverer? Well, there is a comet called "Purple Mountain Observatry" - the reason being that singling out an individual among the collective is taboo in China.

BTW, this attitude did not come with Communism - subordinating an individual to the need of the collective/state is very much a part of Confucianist philosophy.

Ilya
2002-May-23, 05:56 PM
I was wondering if China would be the best place to launch a rocket from anyways. I mean its fairly far from the equator and has pretty unpredictable weather.


It isn't. But Russia is even worse, on both counts, yet they manage.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Ilya on 2002-05-23 13:56 ]</font>

smzarba
2002-May-23, 08:04 PM
Perhaps that Bart Sibrel character is somehow mixed up in this so he can PROVE once and for all we never went!

beskeptical
2002-May-24, 07:30 AM
On 2002-05-22 22:18, Jrodens wrote:
I was wondering if China would be the best place to launch a rocket from anyways. I mean its fairly far from the equator and has pretty unpredictable weather. Also would the benifts of launching a man into space be that great for the Chinese. I mean American, French, British, Russian and other astronauts have already done it. It's not that big of a deal.


Geese, you guys need to get out more. China reaches from above the 50th parallel to below the Tropic of Cancer. It has more than 3.6 million square miles, (about the same as the US if you include Alaska). I'm sure you could find a predictable climate and reasonable launch sites.

Too much TV, no biscuit!! Bejing is a modern city with streets and cars and skyscrapers and universities and scientists, just like the rest of the world. They just happen to have huge rural poorly developed sections of the country as well. (Russia is the same.)

To say they wouldn't benefit from a manned space program because it's been done sounds like it's the equivalent of climbing Everest.

Of course the Chinese carry out research, and benefit from it. In fact, if we don't stimulate those youngsters to learn science and engineering instead of 'recreation' (the fastest growing degree being currently awarded), it should not surprise you when the Chinese space program catches up to ours.

Suppression of political dissent does not mean suppression of science.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: beskeptical on 2002-05-24 03:30 ]</font>

John Kierein
2002-May-24, 01:13 PM
I've dealt peripherally with the Chinese. They launched some of our Iridium satellites, as did the Russians. I have no doubt they will succeed. There is a very strong military involvement in their space program. Not nearly as easy to work with as were the Russians, very much more formal and arms length in dealing with them. They were much more compartmentalized in that they had different institutions doing different aspects of the work. Their orbit stuff was done by an entirely different organization than their launch design folks. The Russians were much friendlier and even had a good sense of humor and willingness to help. We were much more formal than the Russians and had State Department involvment in all our communications with them. We were very wary of dealing with both launch providers and had a serious setback with the Chinese when they had a launch failure that actually killed some local residents. But they recovered and changed their launch rules. I strongly suspect they will be next on the moon with good pictures.
Maybe they will learn to loosen up a little and be less formal.

CJSF
2002-May-24, 02:17 PM
Geese, you guys need to get out more. China reaches from above the 50th parallel to below the Tropic of Cancer. It has more than 3.6 million square miles, (about the same as the US if you include Alaska). I'm sure you could find a predictable climate and reasonable launch sites.


Bad Geography! Above and below refer to elevation above or below Earth's surface (though I guess in the strict sense you are correct). I think you meant to say from "North of the 50th parallel to south of the Tropic of Cancer." or somesuch.

CJSF

_________________
"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never,
ever get it out."
--Thomas Cardinal Wolsey (1471-1530)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Christopher Ferro on 2002-05-24 10:17 ]</font>

beskeptical
2002-May-25, 12:00 AM
On 2002-05-24 10:17, Christopher Ferro wrote:
Bad Geography! Above and below refer to elevation above or below Earth's surface (though I guess in the strict sense you are correct). I think you meant to say from "North of the 50th parallel to south of the Tropic of Cancer." or somesuch.


Technically your reference is more precise. On the other hand, the 60th parallel would be 'above' the 50th and these terms are commonly used in geographical descriptions. There are very few maps that don't have north at the top, even globes are usually displayed with north at the top. But, I like precision and thank you for the input. I'm just not sure I'd give it the rank of 'bad' geography.

CJSF
2002-May-28, 01:46 PM
On 2002-05-24 20:00, beskeptical wrote:
Technically your reference is more precise. On the other hand, the 60th parallel would be 'above' the 50th and these terms are commonly used in geographical descriptions. There are very few maps that don't have north at the top, even globes are usually displayed with north at the top. But, I like precision and thank you for the input. I'm just not sure I'd give it the rank of 'bad' geography.


Up would only apply to the MAP or GLOBE, NOT Earth (or other planet), so I suppose it depends how you decide to refer to any location... but since a place on a map is only a referent, not the real point you are talking about, the real location is north or south, not up or down.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

CJSF

beskeptical
2002-May-29, 01:54 AM
On 2002-05-28 09:46, Christopher Ferro wrote:
Up would only apply to the MAP or GLOBE, NOT Earth (or other planet), so I suppose it depends how you decide to refer to any location... but since a place on a map is only a referent, not the real point you are talking about, the real location is north or south, not up or down. /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif CJSF

I concede. But I must add, latitude is a symbolic representation, maps are symbolic representations, the number 60 is symbolic of greater than, above, higher than 50. In geographic science the distinction between higher and N,S, is very important. But, for the purposes of communicating a point about the misconception of weather forecasting in China, I just don't think one has to be concerned about correct scientific language unless the message is received incorrectly because of it.

CJSF
2002-May-29, 01:26 PM
Yeah, I know... but I can't help it. Words do mean things, however, and "up" is not the same as "north." One should strive to be as clear as possible in speaking and writing. Such clarity avoids communication pitfalls and misunderstandings. Good speaking and writing habits are always en vouge.

Besides, I *AM* a Geographer...
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif
CJSF

SeanF
2002-May-30, 01:47 PM
On 2002-05-29 09:26, Christopher Ferro wrote:
Yeah, I know... but I can't help it. Words do mean things, however, and "up" is not the same as "north." One should strive to be as clear as possible in speaking and writing. Such clarity avoids communication pitfalls and misunderstandings. Good speaking and writing habits are always en vouge.

Besides, I *AM* a Geographer...
/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif
CJSF



Word do mean things, but who decides what they mean? According to Dictionary.com (http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=above), the preposition "above" does, in fact, mean "north of" . . . and, to me, "from above the 50th parallel to below the Tropic of Cancer" was exceedingly clear in its meaning.

(And, apparently, centrifugal "force" is a force!) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif


_________________
SeanF

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: SeanF on 2002-05-30 09:49 ]</font>

Phobos
2002-May-30, 04:52 PM
In 200 BC the Chineese invented gunpowder. In 600 AD they adapted it and invented fireworks. In 994 A.D they invented fire arrows which were the worlds first true rockets with a reported range of about 1000 feet. So they are not exactly newcomers to this game.

They have a labour force of over 2 billion people, and produce a significant proportion of the worlds electronics technology.

They have the benifit of the groundbreaking work that has been achieved by America and Russia, and they have the political will.

Whilst the task ahead for them is still great I have little doubt that they can do it, I just don't know how long it will take.

Phobos