"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

China's Space program getting ready to upstage US Presidential elections

The meticulously planned Chinese space exploration project continues on plan and on target for a spectacular three-taikonaut manned orbital mission in October with live broadcasts from space , after the Olympics and just in time to upstage the US Presidential elections.

The Chang'e unmanned lunar probe is a 5,180-pound (2,350-kg) satellite, the first stage in the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) which was launched successfully at the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in SW China's Sichuan Province on October 24, 2007 (see pic) and is meanwhile orbiting the moon preparing data for a three-dimensional lunar map and analyzing the content of the surface.

The satelite is an evolution from China's successful Dongfanghong 3 telecommunication satellite platform and equipped with eight primary instruments.

The recent lunar eclipse forced some changes in the orbit of which forced the lunar orbiter to consume about 40 percent of its overall battery power, less than the 60 percent expected before the eclipse, and left it out of contact with flight controllers in Beijing for about 49 minutes.

The eclipse left the lunar probe without direct sunlight to charge it's on board photovoltaic "wing" panels for about 80 minutes, though it did fire its rocket engine to tweak its orbital path to minimize the time in shadow.

The satellite featured in the New Year celebrations and beamed back 30 songs as part of China's Lantern Festival celebration to mark the end of the country's Lunar New Year festivities as the Government pulls out the stops to broadcast their space skills.

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