It’s dead, Jim: China’s lunar rover fails to reconnect with Earth

UPDATE2:

Return of the Jade Rabbit: China’s moon rover back in action

BEIJING — China’s Jade Rabbit lunar rover, feared to have suffered some irreparable technical difficulties, may yet have some spring in its step.

UPDATE: It may have a heartbeat. A website devoted to the amateur monitoring of radio signals from deep space, uhf-satcom.com, reports that a downlink signal from the Yutu rover has been detected. Whether it’s a zombie or not is still unknown.

Yutu.jpg

Yutu rover on the lunar surface, imaged by the Chang’e 3 lander.

From wire reports:
China’s lunar rover, Yutu, was has failed to reawaken after 14 days of hibernation.

Yutu, China’s first lunar rover, is dead.

Mission controllers in Beijing were unable to communicate with and restore the rover, also called Jade Rabbit, according to a Chinadaily report released February 12. A problem with the rover was first announced on January 25.

China’s first lunar rover, Yutu, could not be restored to full function on Monday as expected, and netizens mourned it on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like service.  [Special coverage]

Yutu experienced mechanical problems on Jan 25 and has been unable to function since then.

==============================================================

One wonders if the cause will ultimately be traced to something many people experience daily on a worldwide basis: poorly manufactured Chinese components often fail quickly.

Of course, there are many instances of other countries moon and mars landers/rovers failing on deployment, so they are not alone. It is still an accomplishment to just get there.

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130 Responses to It’s dead, Jim: China’s lunar rover fails to reconnect with Earth

  1. milodonharlani says:

    So it wasn’t faked after all?

  2. kenw says:

    did it see the flag we planted there? /sarc…

  3. clipe says:

    Major loss of face. That and they stole the wrong blueprint.

  4. Rick says:

    Maybe cheaply made components, but if so they can probably afford to send 27 of these on missions compared to one of ours :).

  5. Jeffrey says:

    Did it bring along enough coal?

  6. Anachronda says:

    That’s a shame. So much hard work to get it there.

  7. HLx says:

    Made in china..

  8. MangoChutney says:

    that’s the problem with Chinese, you have one rover and you 30 mins later you want another one

  9. albertalad says:

    Well, back to stealing more western tech. Obviously, they got the AGW model program that doesn’t work.

  10. Psalmon says:

    Ironically, they purchased Jade Rabbit at Walmart.

  11. Brad R says:

    I’ve worked a bit with Chinese engineers, and they’re smart and capable. Let’s not forget that they managed a soft landing on the moon, no trivial stunt, and deployed a rover which did function long enough to send back pictures. Not bad for a first attempt. I wish them well with their next.

  12. timothy sorenson says:

    I think praising them for what they have accomplished and encouraging them further is the only correct response.

  13. MangoChutney says:

    timothy is of course correct

  14. major says:

    Remind me, what was the quality of original hubble images? Oh, and about those shuttles of yours…

  15. Andyj says:

    Terrible! Remind me. Not to buy a Chinese built iphone………………

    Better luck next time guys. Great first effort.

  16. Jaakko Kateenkorva says:

    Yutu has been on Moon’s surface since 14 December 2013. Perhaps the 24th solar maximum toasted it’s circuits, but it’s politically incorrect to admit.

  17. Hoser says:

    Nothing made in China these days lasts long. I wonder how long our new Bay Bridge will last? Already been repaired. A bit like my new jacket I bought a few years ago, made in China, that ripped the sleeve lining after the first wash. Or my flight bag made in China that ripped out a [seam] the first month. Interestingly, WalMart is purchasing $250 billion in domestic products over 10 years to support US manufacturing to boost jobs. I always figured Walmart was the canary in the coal mine for our economy. When products become too expensive there (which I expected), it would be because 1) people weren’t working, and 2) China was raising prices and / or the dollar was falling through the floor.

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/walmart-announces-10-million-fund-to-spur-innovation-and-support-us-manufacturing-2014-01-23

    “If we want to grow manufacturing and help rebuild America’s middle class, we need the brightest minds in our universities, in our think tanks, and in our towns to tackle obstacles to U.S. manufacturing,” said [Walmart U.S. President and CEO Bill ] Simon. “The $10 million fund will identify and award leaders in manufacturing innovation and help us all work together to create opportunity.”
    Last year Walmart announced that it will buy an additional $50 billion in American products. That’s $50 billion more than it does today 10 years from now. Walmart estimates that its $50 billion pledge, in the 10th year, will result in Walmart buying an additional $250 billion cumulatively over the next 10 years. This pledge is in an effort to grow U.S. manufacturing and encourage the creation of U.S. jobs.

  18. dccowboy says:

    Na, it was the hacking tools built into every Chinese made processor. This is a precursor to the ‘nightmare scenario’ that stays at the back of the minds of every Admiral in the fleet – thousands of avionics, missile guidance, acquisition radar – all built with Chinese made processors … one single command — fill in the blanks.

  19. Hoser says:

    Alas, I see the word was ‘seam’ and not what it seems to be instead.

  20. Thomas McKinzie says:

    The main problem of Chinese manufacturing is lip service to manufacturing standards. They don’t maintain their processes with rigid calibration standards for the manufacturing equipment. Case in point, I’ve used nickel plated N connectors, for coaxial cables, for years both in my work and play, without any problems when a US manufacturer was used. However, in Afghanistan, I was fielding a system installed on MRAP’s that utilized said connectors, but made in China. Right from the beginning I observed flaking of the nickel plating from the connector, causing a 3 month delay due to these inferior parts. I could relate other items as well………

  21. Anthony, I think this should not be done.
    mechanic things fail all the time, regardless where it is made. American made space apparatus have failed too.

    As a matter of fact, a google on ‘made in china superior’ gives some interesting results

    https://www.google.com/?gfe_rd=ctrl&ei=jev7UpHHKNOG5Abt0YGwDA&gws_rd=cr#q=made+in+china+superior

    I don’t think that polarisation was unnecesary and uncalled for and it wont help maintianing an objective image..

    Disclaimer: I’m not Chinese, just trying to be objective.

  22. poorly manufactured Chinese components often fail quickly.

    Going to the Moon is hard.
    Roving on the Moon harder still.
    Successful landing on China’s first attempt.
    Made it through one Lunar night (-180 deg C) . Couldn’t survive the second.
    They’ll learn and be back.

  23. PaulH says:

    Not dead yet?

    “After being pronounced dead by the news media China’s Yutu rover has phoned home from the Moon.”

    http://www.moonviews.com/2014/02/yutu-rover-has-phoned-home-from-the-moon.html

  24. Dirk Pitt says:

    Radio waves can’t penetrate smog?

  25. milodonharlani says:

    Andyj says:
    February 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm

    The first & still best touch smartphones in the world, iPhones, are assembled in China (or Taiwan).

  26. john robertson says:

    Wether it works the first time or not, at least the Chinese are doing basic space exploration work.
    I wish them every success.
    We North Americans have not only dropped the ball, we have punted it into the la la land of “Moslem Outreach”.
    Maybe, assuming our civic structures survive, we can partner up with the Asian Explorers, when we have adults in government again.

  27. Konrad says:

    The achievement of getting to the moon and successfully soft landing a rover is no loss of face for the Chinese.

    Jade Rabbit may be dead, but the Chinese quest for He3 from the lunar regolith is not. Some may foolishly gloat that the rover failed prematurely, but the message from the Chinese should be clear – “Good luck with those wind farms, losers”.

  28. dccowboy says:

    LOL, when I worked for PSINet (when it still existed) we bought a few Hong Kong based ISPs. We were heading to Hong Kong after one such purchase when one of our employees (who was an emigre from Hong Kong) off offhandedly remarked, “You do know that Chinese companies always maintain two sets of books, one for the government and the real one, right?

    Their devotion to ‘quality’ is not very high (and still isn’t as far as I can see). Just make it last long enough to cash the customers check…

  29. Paul Pierett says:

    Send up Robbie the Robot to give it a good nudge.

  30. Mike M says:

    It ain’t like we haven’t had some tough lessons – Apollo 1, Challenger & Columbia

  31. 4 eyes says:

    ‘One wonders if the cause will ultimately be traced to something many people experience daily on a worldwide basis: poorly manufactured Chinese components often fail quickly”.

    Conjecture and generalisation with a not so subtle undertone Anthony. Your site is terrific and I visit everyday but that sort of comment does WUWT no good at all. Give us some data to support your implication and I’ll be happy.

    REPLY: well for one, I’m an importer of Chinese electronics on a regular basis, not by choice, but only since I can’t buy the devices anywhere else. In some batches, I’ve seen failure rates of 25% out of the box. Just last week for example I had a batch of 25 LED 60watt bulbs that I planned to deploy in my office and at home. The very first one I screwed in started smoking and caught fire as the driver electronics failed and filled my home with nasty chemical laden smoke. I haven’t the courage to test any more. At the office, I have a scrap pile of Chinese power supplies and other components that experienced infant mortality, which aren’t worth shipping back. – Anthony

  32. stevek says:

    After buying my bmw and it breaking so often, I believe Germans are not that good either at building stuff that lasts. Unless that is their plan to get me to spend more at the dealers.

  33. stevek says:

    I feel bad for the engineers. [Off] to the re-education camps for them.

  34. Eric Simpson says:

    One wonders if the cause will ultimately be traced to something many people experience daily on a worldwide basis: poorly manufactured Chinese components often fail quickly.

    It’s a complex endeavor, and THEY have landed up there, and roved around for a while, which we haven’t been able to do squat in over 40 years. Somehow they took their cheap Chinese components and made it fly. Next thing you know they are going to have colonies up there, be planting the flag and claiming the land. WE, nada. We will still be talking about going to far off pointless Mars or Uranus, but the land is in our backyard and we can’t even do that. Well, I’m off to the dollar store to buy a Lunar Rover Kit. “Die Young, Stay Pretty.” -Blondie

  35. CodeTech says:

    It’s awfully easy to make fun of Chinese made components, but I wish it wasn’t.

    I think this is more of a cultural problem than anything else, and I don’t mean the Chinese culture. From my experience the same problems were experienced with Soviet made stuff. Check out ebay, you can still find some Soviet-era components.

    When you live in a society that doesn’t really reward exceptional work, most people simply won’t do exceptional work. Keep the machine running. Capacitor… capacitor…capacitor… clunk clunk clunk. What’s that? The last 50 weren’t even capacitors? Who cares? By the time anyone notices I’ll be home having beer.

    I’ve bought LOTS of components from China over the last few years, and I never buy one of something. Always two or three, because you can almost be certain that one or two will either be DOA or will fail in the first few minutes. But…. they’re cheap enough that it still remains cost effective.

    REPLY: Exactly, I always overbuy as well, because I figure 10% will be DOA. – Anthony

  36. CodeTech says:

    stevek – that is the plan for ALL automakers… they’re constantly trying to engineer vehicles that you have to go to dealers for service, and apparently are completely unaware that their dealer networks are horrid.

  37. Just Steve says:

    My God Jim, I’m a doctor, not a rocket scientist…..

  38. Jimbo says:

    I avoid most indigenous Chinese products like the plague but I do buy made in China products produced by international companies. The laptop I am using now is made in China.

    I suspect that by 2070 NASA will become a tiny ‘climate forecaster’ run by swivel eyed climate activists and China and India will have men living on Mars. ;-)

  39. Anthony Watts says:

    BTW for those concerned that I’m dissing the Chinese unfairly, I’ll point out that they block the entire wordpress.com domain in the great firewall of China, as reported by many WUWT readers to me and in Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_websites_blocked_in_China since free speech is a threat to their government. So, they can’t even read this article.

    I’ll worry about any apologies that might be needed when they end that blockade.

  40. Jeff Norman says:

    Maybe it defected and is currently being debriefed…

  41. cnxtim says:

    Hey Lim, I told you you were holding that blueprint you got with BitTorrent upside down

  42. Steve B says:

    stevek says:
    February 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    After buying my bmw and it breaking so often, I believe Germans are not that good either at building stuff that lasts. Unless that is their plan to get me to spend more at the dealers.
    *************************************************************************************************************
    That BMW could have been made in China. BMW have an auto plant in Shenyang, China

  43. Steve B says:

    BTW for those concerned that I’m dissing the Chinese unfairly, I’ll point out that they block the entire wordpress.com domain in the great firewall of China, as reported by many WUWT readers to me and in Wikipedia
    *********************************************************************************************************************88
    Very true

  44. RACookPE1978 says:

    The very telling comment is that NON-TECHNICAL (easy, cheap, simple-to-make) things are also cheaper “Made in China”.

    Really, why would a $1.50 toothbrush, a box of 300 toothpicks, a bag of 75 wood BBQ skewers, a set of six 1 inch paintbrushes, a bag of children’s pencils, a box of 30 ballpoint pens …. or even a set of box-end wrenches or screwdrivers be cheaper to make in China (by slave labor obviously for a Chinese Army general’s company, get boxed into a truck, get shipped 400 km to a wharf, get loaded on a containership, get shipped 5000 miles, get unloaded to a US train, get sent 1200 miles by train to a truck stop, get loaded on another truck at that building, get shipped 200 miles to another warehouse, get re-boxed into a store’s allotment, get shipped 200 miles to a store’s loading dock, THEN get put on a shelf full of 300 competing low-quality “Made in China” other pencils and pens and leads and rulers and erasers ….. And still make a profit at 75 cents for the bag of wood skewers?

  45. braddles says:

    Just don’t forget that the first SIX NASA lunar probes of the Ranger series all failed completely. Some missed the moon altogether. There was also a series of early lunar probes called Pioneer. Maybe ten of them. They all failed too, and are almost forgotten now.

  46. graphicconception says:

    As a Brit who knows some history, all I can say is: Enjoy these cheap jibes at the expense of the Chinese while you still can.

    You won’t be able to do it for very long.

    As for thinking that they have to steal plans to make any progress, how did the US get hold of the designs to make cotton spinning machines just after the War of Independence, how did you invent the jet engine and was Werner von Braun any help with the rocket program?

  47. David L says:

    Typical “Made in China” crap. Did they buy it at Walmart?

  48. Tim Obrien says:

    Maybe they shouldn’t have used Chinese parts…

  49. Txomin says:

    timothy sorenson says:
    February 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    I think praising them for what they have accomplished and encouraging them further is the only correct response.

    ——————————–

    Absolutely.

  50. brians356 says:

    milodonharlani,

    Taiwan is NOT the PRC. Big difference. Taiwan is a relatively free society (at least as fee as our current “By Executive Order” regime), possibly the USA’s best ally in Asia, and their products are far superior to the PRC’s to date (but the gap is closing, slowly.) Look in a machinery catalog like “Grizzly.com” which sells both PRC- and Tawain-made machinery – the items marked “Made in Taiwan!” are top of the line, and cost sometimes twice what the best PRC-made models do. Good metal lathes made in Taiwan are suitable for the most demanding machining.

  51. clipe says:

    Someone said Google ‘Chinese superiority’ so I Googled ‘Chinese Inferiority’

    First up

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/05/opinion/the-price-of-made-in-china.html?_r=0

  52. Randy says:

    I am sure they will do it right next time, or the next. The real question is why the heck dont we have our own shuttles anymore! where is the moon base I was supposed to be able to [live] in by the year 2000! I got robbed!!!

    If an actual human isnt standing on mars sometime in my life I will come back and haunt the human race if it is at all possible. YOUVE BEEN WARNED!!!

  53. clipe says:

    graphicconception says:
    February 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    As a Brit who knows some history, all I can say is: Enjoy these cheap jibes at the expense of the Chinese while you still can.

    You won’t be able to do it for very long.

    As for thinking that they have to steal plans to make any progress, how did the US get hold of the designs to make cotton spinning machines just after the War of Independence, how did you invent the jet engine and was Werner von Braun any help with the rocket program?

    Heh! You’re funny. Get a grip please.

    I’m a Scot by the way.

    http://thediplomat.com/2011/09/chinas-growing-spy-threat/

  54. _Jim says:

    graphicconception says February 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    was Werner von Braun any help with the rocket program?

    Don’t rule out the progress Dr. Robert H. Goddard was making in that same area:

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/about/history/dr_goddard.html#.UvwCJGJdXng

    In World War II, Goddard again offered his services and was assigned by the U.S. Navy to the development of practical jet assisted takeoff and liquid propellant rocket motors capable of variable thrust. In both areas, he was successful. Robert H. Goddard died on Aug. 10, 1945, four days after the first atomic bomb was dropped …

    .

  55. brians356 says:

    Randy,
    Would you like to [find] the young [fine] Anne Francis standing there? ;-)

  56. brians356 says:

    “… find the young …” Do Chinese blogs have “Edit” buttons?

  57. Steve from Rockwood says:

    When I was in China (most of October 2013) they did not block WUWT although none of the adds made it through and some of the graphs were never displayed. But all the text got through and I was able to comment.

    I recall the Americans slamming a space ship onto the Martian surface a few years back and blaming the metric system.

  58. cgh says:

    Does anyone here imagine that China’s ambitions are limited to successfully soft-landing an orbiter? Mark my words; China will be the next nation to send people to the moon. You will have a moon base, Randy, but it will be flying a Chinese flag.

  59. Martin A says:

    Quality is best defined as whatever the customer chooses it to be.

    Isn’t the fact that Walmart is packed with Chinese made goods a clue that the Chinese have understood *exactly* what quality is (so far as the US consumer is concerned) and are delivering it by the container shipful?

  60. milodonharlani says:

    Steve from Rockwood says:
    February 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Incredible as it may sound, NASA apparently truly did use metric units for one ground software package & English units for another, causing the ~700 million 1998 dollar Mars Climate Orbiter to crash. But, hey, that’s just a tiny fraction of the amount wasted in worse than worthless studies of earth’s climate.

    China doesn’t have to worry about English units.

  61. brians356 says:

    Why does WalMart get all the zingers for Chinese goods? Which store do you walk into to purchase products made in America?

  62. RACookPE1978 says:

    _Jim says:
    February 12, 2014 at 3:25 pm (replying to)

    graphicconception says February 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    was Werner von Braun any help with the rocket program?

    Don’t rule out the progress Dr. Robert H. Goddard was making in that same area:

    Jim! And you even a Free Republic linker – I am disappointed in your memory!

    Clinton SOLD previously classified US rocket third-stage technology controls, rocket stage separation drawings, “rules” and design specifications to the Chinese for campaign contributions and donations to his-and-hers Presidential Library coffers FROM NASA to the Red Chinese military back in the 90′s.

    Before he forced that sale, the export or release of that knowledge was prohibited. BUT, by forcing the sale and by transferring future contract approval to other bureaucracies from “safe” federal agencies (who knew what was at stake) to those under Clinton control, the Chinese intercontinental rockets (with lots of Litton subcontractor assistance!) suddenly were no longer breaking up in flight.

    Gee, what a surprise! So, von Braun’s knowledge and hard-earned lessons learned still work. Thanks to the democrats, our space program no longer works, but their Chinese nuclear and space missiles launch just fine now.

  63. _Jim says:

    braddles says February 12, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Just don’t forget that the first SIX NASA lunar probes of the Ranger series all failed completely. Some missed the moon altogether. There was also a series of early lunar probes called Pioneer.

    Yes … early ‘oops’ by, well, after NASA was formed for Pioneer 1 and after … about 18 in all with some successes mixed in with failures esp. early on …

    http://burro.astr.cwru.edu/stu/advanced/20th_far_pioneers.html

    .

  64. Jaakko Kateenkorva says:

    Well. I respect your views and see your point, but don’t think it’s right to mock Chinese here like this now. Not after years of challenging the rampant and yet paradoxically misguided disinformation agencies in US and EU.

    If mother earth wouldn’t have turned out to be a AGW-heretic (and Chinese wouldn’t have turned the Warsaw 2013 Climate Change Conference into a spectacular gimme-me-money or we-walk-out show), what type of uphill would we be climbing now with our own governments and civil service?

  65. JBirks says:

    Ahem, need I remind ‘mercans of the Mals Polar Lander, which crashed because NASA failed to convert miles to kms? Compared with that fiasco, this is a major triumph..

    [Your keyboard seems to have a Malady. ~ mod.]

  66. milodonharlani says:

    RACookPE1978 says:
    February 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Correct. Instead of perjury & obstruction of justice charges, Clinton should have been impeached for bribery, treason & other high crimes. And convicted. Ditto Gore.

  67. milodonharlani says:

    JBirks says:
    February 12, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    Your’re thinking of Mars Climate Orbiter. The Polar Lander had a different problem. Mars is a tougher target than the moon.

  68. brians356 says:

    I have to chuckle a bit over China’s “historic achievement.” Really? China has joined the big league? 40 years late, and a dollar short, using er, … borrowed ideas. Let’s see them “land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth” within the next decade, even given the benefit of hindsight and modern computing and materials science.

  69. @RACookPE1978 at 2:44 pm
    The very telling comment is that NON-TECHNICAL (easy, cheap, simple-to-make) things are also cheaper “Made in China”.

    Really, why would a $1.50 toothbrush, a box of 300 toothpicks, a bag of 75 wood BBQ skewers, …. [ be made, boxed, containerized, trucked, shipped, railed, warehoused, distributed, and sold] And still make a profit at 75 cents for the bag of wood skewers?

    One answer: Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (Wikipedia). It’s safety rules make it cheap for Mattel to sell millions of toys, but impossibly expensive for the home hobbyist, or reseller.

    President George W. Bush signed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which went into effect on February 10, 2009. The law bans lead and phthalates in toys, books, clothes, and any other object intended for children under 12. To enforce these rules, the law requires every toymaker, distributor, or retailer who sells products in the U.S. to certify each of its models through third-party testing, labeling every item with an individual date and batch number.

    Overnight, a bunch of cheerful believers in good government found themselves on the wrong side of a do-gooding law. Under the terms of the new rules, their lead-free, hand-crafted toys were now illegal until proven clean. (Reason – Dangerous Toys, Strange Bedfellows – June 2009)

    see also: http://www.handmadetoyalliance.org/Community/CountdowntoExtinctiion.aspx

  70. _Jim says:

    RACookPE1978 says February 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    [_Jim; it's always been "_Jim"] Jim! And you even a Free Republic linker – I am disappointed in your memory!

    I recall; and I’m glad to see you do too!

    Timeline:
    . . http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_Cox_Report_controversy.

    Key stories at the time:
    . . . http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/missile/keystories.htm which starts with:

    Panel Faults Space Aid to China
    December 31, 1998
    Two American aerospace companies damaged U.S. national security when they provided Chinese space engineers with technical rocketry data that could have assisted Beijing’s ballistic missile program, a House committee concluded in a classified 700-page report.

    .

  71. jorgekafkazar says:

    brians356 says: “Why does WalMart get all the zingers for Chinese goods? Which store do you walk into to purchase products made in America?”

    Congress…assuming they’re all native-born.

  72. garymount says:

    There was a time when “made in Japan” was meant as a joke, about the poor quality of a product.
    Japan at least has a democratic system of government and could pursue capitalistic ideas to improve their lives. Unfortunately Japan pursued the wrong economics ideas and have had a stagnant economy for a couple of decades now.
    - – -
    I worked with Chinese engineers and one with a PhD on Chinas first underwater remotely operated vehicle, designed and built by the company I was working for. In one training exercise for trouble shooting problems, one of our technicians put clear tape over a contact. After some time of trying to troubleshoot, the Chinese gave up and they felt that the technician had cheated. But he pointed out that in the hostile environment that the vehicle would be running in, corrosion could develop, and you have to be aware of that.
    It was also fun keeping our Chinese visitors away from the American military “thing” we were working on. They were also surprised of the high up Chinese leadership that they met while here in Canada that they never run into at home.
    - – -
    I’m not entirely sure, but I think my running shoe laces that keep coming undone, were made in china.

  73. milodonharlani says:

    We cannot allow a Moon Base Gap!

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2012/01/newt-gingrich-and-space

    Even if it wouldn’t pay for itself by mining all that crust up there that used to be down here, about where the Pacific Ocean is now, MBG would be a huge strategic asset. Stash a few megaton-range nukes up there & hurl them down on anyone who ticks us off.

  74. OK, ask me ,, teacher, ask me I Know,, I KNOW…..

    oK we all know what [you are] like if you do not get to put in your two bits worth ,,, get it out…..

    Well , NSA hack the China phone call and slipped in “Good Night Irene” ,,,, done deal.

  75. RACookPE1978 says:

    graphicconception says:
    February 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    As a Brit who knows some history, all I can say is: Enjoy these cheap jibes at the expense of the Chinese while you still can.

    You won’t be able to do it for very long.

    As for thinking that they have to steal plans to make any progress, how did the US get hold of the designs to make cotton spinning machines just after the War of Independence …

    Yo Brit! Where do think the Brit’s got some of those first steam engine plans and ideas? 8<)

    Schott + Guericke (Germany, 1637) to Hooke + Boyle (Brit's, 1659) and Papin (the piston, French, 1671, 1681) + Huygens (Dutch, 1675) so in 1690 Papin had an enclosed machine with a cylinder moving by vacuum pressure caused by the contraction of steam in an enclosed cylinder. Add Leibniz (German, 1707) working Hessian bellows and Savery's first pump (1699-1702) patent, Della Porta (Neopolitean), de Caus, Ramsay, and Moreland's first calculation of the volume of steam. Then finally, Newcomen and Calley lifting beam and their recognition.

  76. Gary Pearse says:

    You can be sure that the components used for Yutu aren’t the same quality as what they sell by the loader bucket-load to America. I ain’t laughing about this achievement. Most fail to understand the Chinese government. Their ultimate objective wasn’t to just join the WTO. This is something to start concerning ourselves about. When the soviets put Sputnik 1 up, America went into overdrive and put men into orbit and finally landed men on the moon only a decade later. An America with stunning resolve, technology, enterprise. I’m concerned that with the “socialization” of America, there is no overdrive to go into. They are fizzling into an EU – government getting bigger and bigger, warring against the shrinking productive sector, enabling world government…. No, like the EU, America isn’t presently fit to go anywhere anymore. Is there a savior out there somewhere? Even Bill Gates is a lefty pussy.

  77. u.k.(us) says:

    Well, my coffee maker with a digital time display lost a digit after 9 months, they’ll reverse engineer the problem soon I’m sure.
    At least they hit the target.
    Time to put on those thinking caps.

  78. JimBob says:

    h/t to Gary Pearse. He gets it.

    China does what is best for China. They aren’t allies, and they aren’t partners…they are competitors to the USA (and others) and we’d better start thinking that way or we’re going to be in big trouble. The whole time we’ve been shipping them technical info in exchange for loans or campaign contributions they’ve been planning how to kick our butts if and when they ever get the urge. At least I’m in Kansas…it would suck to be in Taiwan, or Japan, or the Philippines, or anywhere else in the region when China decides to make their move. Who’s going to stop them?

    A soft landing on the moon is quite an achievement, but not like it would have been 40 years ago. Comparing Yutu to the Ranger and Pioneer programs is disingenuous at best. Ranger’s navigation and control computer, IIRC, was a mechanical sequencer like the timer in a good old-fashioned washing machine. You started it at launch time and hoped the mechanical triggers were all set at the right time. Not quite the same accomplishment when there is probably an orbital mechanics app for the iPhone that can do all the math for you.

  79. Fabi says:

    Robotic planetary (including lunar) exploration is hardly routine and each successful mission, even if only a partial success, is something to contemplate and enjoy.

  80. markx says:

    Mighty effort by China.

    the place is full of young, educated, driven people ….. and they are learning quickly.

    To those who will snicker, remember once when “Made in Japan” was regarded as an indication of cheap, trashy, fragile, disposable.

  81. agimarc says:

    Word in some of the space community is that it was the lunar dust that took it out. Lunar dust is pretty nasty stuff with sharp, jagged edges (not unlike fresh volcanic ash) and highly electrostatic. Nothing to weather and smooth the individual grains appreciably over time, so they do some interesting stuff. Whomever goes to the moon to stay will have to do something about the dust. Cheers -

    http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2014/01/enduring-mystery-of-moons-toxic-dust-solved-from-apollo-findings.html

    http://science1.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2005/30mar_moonfountains/

  82. philjourdan says:

    I wonder if it was a trojan in the stolen software. Stuxnet II.

  83. Peter says:

    Anthony, I work in China fairly often, 4-5 times a year, usually Beijing, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Hong Kong for a week or so at a time and I can usually read WUWT. 2-3 years ago I could not. In Hong Kong it always worked for me. Occasionally it will work in one location, hotel or coffee shop but not in another.

    I find the kids I work with doing engineering to be very hard working, smart, motivated and universally dislike their government. If you want to see Chinese engineering at its best google the new Shenzhen airport terminal… Its unreal.

  84. Catcracking says:

    graphicconception says:
    February 12, 2014 at 2:51 pm

    “As for thinking that they have to steal plans to make any progress, how did the US get hold of the designs to make cotton spinning machines just after the War of Independence, how did you invent the jet engine and was Werner von Braun any help with the rocket program?”

    I’m not sure about the thinking behind your question but a Brit and a German are credited with inventing the first jet engine. Reading a patent which is public (a least in the US) and improving on the technology is quite common. Besides at that stage of History the USA and GB were collaborating on wartime technology to the maximum extent possible to win WW II. Do you think the US stole the technology? Also at that time Japan and Russia were also developing Jet Plane technology. Was the USA supposed to sit back and allow our enemies to develop technology unchecked.
    Some background info from WIKI
    Sir Frank Whittle was an English aviation engineer and pilot, and is credited with inventing the jet engine and was issued his first patent on turbojet propulsion in January 1930. “The historic first flight of the Pioneer took place on May 15, 1941.”
    Hans Von Ohain, a German, patented a jet propulsion engine design similar in concept to that of Sir Frank Whittle but different in internal arrangement in 1934. His design, the Heinkel He178 flew for the first time on August 27, 1939. The US flew it’s first jet in 1942.

    I think China should be complemented for this accomplishment since only those who do try things make progress and fail sometimes. We learn by our failures to improve the design. Not trying means no progress or failures.

    In the Engineering community where often people’s life/safety is involved in the design and fabrication, quality and testing is critical to avoid component failures. Much of the Engineering community is skeptical about critical materials or equipment supplied from China especially where strength and chemistry tests have been known to have been faked in the past.
    I don’t get your point

  85. milodonharlani says:

    philjourdan says:
    February 12, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Or maybe our secret agents Gidney & Cloyd.

  86. markx says:

    ….but having appreciated and acknowledged China’s achievements and progress, I must say this:

    There may be a certain insanity in the big corporations who, in the name of free trade are freely passing all their technical knowledge to a competitor who, in this age of disposable everything, is not always motivated to manufacture and sell high quality components … the big corporations simply want that consumer machine to keep ticking over for a few more decades so they can fool the stock market with their ‘perpetual growth’ and executives will still get obscenely bonused. (Warning, imagining that is NSFW).

    But I am sure they will rapidly acquire the knowledge to manufacture robust high quality components for things that are important to them.

  87. milodonharlani says:

    brians356 says:
    February 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    I know. But the Taiwan owned Foxconn plants that assemble iPhones & iPads are in mainland China.

  88. milodonharlani says:

    _Jim says:
    February 12, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    Robert Goddard would be spinning in his grave if he knew the travesty that the institute NASA named in his honor was making of science.

  89. Lewis P Buckingham says:

    Steve B says:
    February 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm
    You could be right, but the scam goes deeper.
    A few years ago I bought some German made surgical needleholders and subjected them to normal and required autoclaving.
    They fell apart at the box joints after twelve months due to corrosion.
    I sent them back and the company blamed poor cleaning of the instruments and would not refund. So the customer was at fault.
    The problem for me was that I have done a longitudinal controlled trial in a sense on this type of instrument, and two years ago returned a pair of needleholders to the man I had bought it from thirty five years ago, as a memento.
    The only problem was that the grasping surfaces had polished flat.
    No corrosion here.
    I explained this to my friendly supplier who made inquiries of the ‘made in Germany ‘ instrument.
    His information was that the actual instrument was manufactured in China.
    It was then shipped to Germany where the gold plated handles and the laser etching and logo were put onto the metal.
    This made it ‘made in Germany’, according to the local custom.
    The product was then exported, where it failed.

    Just on the subject of failed Mars missions.
    Who may forget the failed Voyage of the Beagle two, a European creation, that ended up in an eternal solar orbit.
    Give them their due, the Chinese scientific military elite is working hard.
    Best not taunt a crouching tiger.

  90. dbstealey says:

    Gary Pearse gets it. Not too many do.

    IMHO, America’s apogee was between about the battle of Midway, and the moon landing. Young folks today just do not realize what it took to send a manned mission to the moon, in only ten years’ time. There were essentially no computers in the ’60′s. What got us there was our ‘can do’ attitude. Really, that was enough.

    Where is that attiude today? It no longer exists. Politicians and the media both put on long sad horse faces, pontificating about supposedly intractible problems. Money is everything to them, and of course there is never enough money, so the sheep must be sheared again and again. No problem is ever solved, because if it were, there would be no excuse to continue employing the legions of government drones. Just look at the monstrosity the Department of Homeland Security has become in only a few short years. The Dep’t of Energy has never produced one barrel of oil. And the Education department has made a total fiasco of the nation’s education despite mountains of money wasted. And the EPA… but why go on?

    One of the big threats — which could easily be countered with the right attitude — is China getting a moon base, then two, then several, and then annexing the moon. Who is to stiop them? The UN? Don’t be ridiculous.

    The moon is the high ground militarily. China is positioning itself to be the dominant power, and then the dictatorial power. Anyone with common sense can see what they’re thinking.

    An easy and effective counter would be to withdraw from UN membership, make alliances with countries that have the same interests, and form a bloc to counter China’s expansionism. But with the current Administration and general mindset, how likely is that?

    The answers are there. We are still very capable. But the willpower is gone.

    So… Adios, America.

  91. _Jim says:

    milodonharlani says February 12, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    I know. But the Taiwan owned Foxconn plants that assemble iPhones & iPads are in mainland China.

    We (while I was with C isc o for a stretch) sent a couple mechanical eng guys to Foxconn China to help out with the fab of various ‘fixtures’ to be used for production of a Wi MAX base station … they have ‘stories’ about their trip.

    Here is a quick walk through of the Engineering lab just off G. H. Bush F reeway in R ichardson where the electronics (an 8 RF-channel board and the Digital/DSP processor board respectively) can be seen in various stages of test either in hot mock-up frames or mounted in their aluminum enclosures the day after this project, the “P4 Base Station” was cancelled:

    Against the far wall can be seen the doors to a long series of adjacent RF “screen rooms”.

    .

  92. wayne Job says:

    Good luck to the chinese, I have stuff made over there, throw away 15% but per good item still a quarter of the price landed that I can get it made in OZ.

    They have benefited much in their lunar project from the failures of the early American program.
    Much to the surprise of the rocketeers in the early program, missing the moon and smacking into it was caused by the prevailing view about gravity. They had to come to terms with wrong science.

    Thus China had a heads up.

  93. u.k.(us) says:

    dbstealey says:

    February 12, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    “So… Adios, America.”
    ===============

    “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing – after they’ve tried everything else.”

    Winston Churchill

    Don’t bet on the wrong horse Smokey.

  94. Ian L. McQueen says:

    stevek says:

    February 12, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    After buying my bmw and it breaking so often, I believe Germans are not that good either at building stuff that lasts. Unless that is their plan to get me to spend more at the dealers.

    I’ve had a ’94 325is from new. I’ve found it to be very reliable. Yes, I’ve had to replace some things, but over 20 years I’d say that it’s been quite economical. My major complaint now is that so many econoboxes will outperform it…..

    Ian M

  95. R. de Haan says:

    In the seventies and eighties cars made in the Britain were called British Rubbish because of the bad quality. The MG’s and Mini’s showed rust marks on the body within a few months after the purchase. The British car industry paid the price for this an went down the tube.
    The problem with Chinese rubbish however is that they produce such an incredible amount of it and somehow lack the progress in quality management and control, probably because orders often get produced by an occasional consortium that break up the moment they finish manufacturing.
    They regard quality control as an additional cost factor and simply skip it.
    What this does is that pushing containers of cheap crap (IQ products = Inferior Quality) gives mass consumption a bad name.
    In the 90′s you could order 1.000 printed pen’s and receive a free bicycle with the order.
    The pen’s were top quality from Big, a french manufacturer but the bicycle cam from China and it broke into pieces within the first 10 yards driving it.
    We’ve moved on 25 years since and they still produce crap.
    It’s such a waste.

  96. Ric Werme says:

    braddles says:
    February 12, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Just don’t forget that the first SIX NASA lunar probes of the Ranger series all failed completely. Some missed the moon altogether. There was also a series of early lunar probes called Pioneer. Maybe ten of them. They all failed too, and are almost forgotten now.

    Pioneer 10 and 11 are part of that Pioneer series. They did pretty well. :-)
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/ames/missions/archive/pioneer.html says 6-9 were launched into solar orbit, it doesn’t say anything about 1-5.

    At least the Chinese are interested in getting people to the Moon. Failures like this can go a long way to encourage a culture of quality.

    Some of those early Ranger missions were pretty embarassing, but when they finally got it right the video from the “doomed” crafts were pretty neat. (Ranger was designed to return video all the way down. No retrorockets. Splat!)

  97. Hoser says:

    Sorry, Chinese stuff has a well-earned reputation for being crap. We were fooled into thinking it was as good as ours just long enough to drive our companies out of business. And their crap will retain its reputation until it is no longer crap. That last step still hasn’t occurred. I doubt it ever will. The object was to weak us. They succeeded. Elements in our own country wanted to take down the middle class to make us dependent on government / big business. We don’t have a free market. We don’t have a competitive economy in many industries. We are a shadow of our former selves.

    In a larger protracted war, we would lose eventually. The Chinese are too smart for this, but say the war was with China. Unless we destroyed their more modern weapons systems quickly, and destroyed their manufacturing capability, they would out manufacture us, building far more inferior weapons than we could destroy. Sounds like the Sherman v. the Panzer or the Wildcat v. the Mitsubishi Zero. The difference is we are more like Japan in WWII, and China is more like us back then.

    Obama was busy expending our stockpiles of high tech weaponry, for example, he wanted to use up a large percentage of our cruise missiles to attack the Assad regime in Syria. Those Tomahawks would likely not be replaced. We would be left far weaker. We have expensive systems because they have fantastic capability, but we use them ineffectively again garbage targets. Commander Zero in the WH uses them for political and not military reasons.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-06/obama-likely-to-avoid-congress-on-cost-of-strike-on-syria.html

    Our fight against climate hysteria is a struggle against just one facet of the larger attack on free market economics and individual liberty. It’s important, but not the only fight. If we see it in context, we realize it’s a full court press to achieve the Revolution the aging 60s radicals wanted before they finally (the sooner the better) leave this planet.

  98. R. de Haan says:

    The pen’s were made by Bic of course.
    http://www.bicworld.com/us/about-bic/history/#
    I’m sure they have factories in China today but they still produce products that simply work.
    Just for the record. I usually buy a box with 100 of their ball points and all of them work.
    I once bought a box of ball point from China and none of the worked.

  99. John F. Hultquist says:

    major says:
    February 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm
    “Remind me, what was the quality of original hubble images? Oh, and about those shuttles of yours…

    The US shuttles were designed in the late 1970s, first flew in 1981, and were used on a total of 135 missions. I purchased my first personal computer about that time, a Commodore VIC-20 with 5kB of RAM and a MOS 6502 CPU. If you owned a ’20 or even the later ’64 – please stand.

  100. John F. Hultquist says:

    From the “things fail” department: Big Bertha . . .
    Has only worked a few weeks and it will be months before she is fixed.
    Japanese firm Hitachi Zosen Corp. manufactured the machine that’s digging the tunnel meant to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct near the Seattle waterfront.

  101. R. de Haan says:

    Just watch the UN plan turning China into the factory of the world: http://green-agenda.com
    I really want the Chinese people to succeed but as it looks today their centralized economy has arrived on the brink just as debt loaded as the West and Japan.
    They have been building entire ghost cities where nobody lives just to polish up their books to keep foreign capital coming in. Now they are cooking the books on exports claiming more exports than the importing counties receive. China is a big bubble and when it bursts it will wipe out 90% of their companies. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-12/it-begins-another-high-yield-chinese-shadow-banking-trust-defaults#

  102. R. de Haan says:

    As for their real estate bubble:

    As for their building quality:

    This is a totally corrupt nation and fear they will go down the drain in a terrible manner.

  103. _Jim says:

    Ric Werme says February 12, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    doesn’t say anything about 1-5.

    See if the link here covers Pioneers 0 – 5 (satisfactorily):

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/12/its-dead-jim-chinas-lunar-rover-fails-to-reconnect-with-earth/#comment-1566120

    .

  104. James (Aus.) says:

    Very likely has those rotten lithium-ion batteries the Chinese sell on eBay. You know, “Ultra-something” or “Something-Fire”. Usually cannibalised from dead laptops.

  105. ToyotaLover says:

    markx says:
    February 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm
    Mighty effort by China. the place is full of young, educated, driven people ….. and they are learning quickly.
    To those who will snicker, remember once when “Made in Japan” was regarded as an indication of cheap, trashy, fragile, disposable.
    ———————————————————————
    Hear! Hear!
    As my 1995 Corolla will attest @ 281,000 miles: it still has alternator/starter(except 1 set of Cu starter contacts @ $1 each), power steering &water pump, power brakes (except linings), electric fuel pump, air conditioning, computer and all related engine sensors, all hoses except water pump intake and high pressure power steering, all ball joints/bearings, 3 each axle struts, engine (except plugs) &automatic transmission all as original unrefurbished installed equipment. The CV joints needed replacement @ about 180,000 and the thermostat &radiator at around 250,000. The only downside might be that like the proverbial carriage the car will start failing all at once. Based on this and other models that I’ve owned and didn’t fare so well with, and then using Consumer Reports as a base reference, that mag has become my family’s automotive buying bible.
    If Toyota can make relatively simple but important accessories like alternators and water/fuel pumps this reliable, the other manufacturers can also but choose not to, probably for repeat auto sales and expense of customer returns for repairs.

  106. juan slayton says:

    John F. Hultquist: If you owned a ’20 or even the later ’64 – please stand.

    Can I sit down now? Just to check I went and pulled one of my old C64s out of the closet and–sure enough–it says right there, MADE IN USA. I used ‘em for years–the best machine for teaching third graders basic computer skills ever produced, IMHO.

  107. AntonyIndia says:

    China under the CPC is the biggest polluter on Earth today. Maybe they couldn’t keep their “clean rooms” for parts or space craft assembly clean enough. Biggest victims: all breathing Chinese. Food for the Elite comes from special biological farms.

  108. Ben D says:

    Oh ye of little faith…the talk of Yutu’s death was premature, it has awoken and is transmitting telemetry back to Earth…

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Yutu_Awakes_999.html

  109. James Hutchisson says:

    The late 1980′s fear was the economic rise of Japan and its domination of the world economy. It did not happen because Japanese industry was strong in a very limited number of areas i.e. automobiles, consumer products etc. No aircraft industry, minimal medical instrumentation etc. China is much the same today; production capability in a few areas. The USA and EU are self sustaining China and Japan are not and thus will not have the capability to dominate other than locally. The Chinese military is primarily an internal police force incapable of projecting power much beyond its borders. The other regional nations are already establishing alliances to contain China both militarily and geographically. Chinese expansion is west into Siberia which it has been infiltrating for decades as Russia contracts. Interesting Times!

  110. _Jim says:

    The following is as excerpted from: https://twitter.com/uhf_satcom for educational and study purposes.

    The series of Tweets below announce the ‘copy’ (or reception) of the Chinese Rover, in chronological descending order, with a brief interpretation of the ‘shorthand’ used in the Tweet:

    - – - – - –
    UHF Satcom ‏@uhf_satcom Feb 11
    No signals tonite on 8.4GHz from either the Chinese lunar lander or the rover. Will keep monitoring the situation for a bit…

    Meaning: No signals from the moon seen in the 8.4 GHz area
    - – - – - –

    UHF Satcom ‏@uhf_satcom 8h
    Chang’e’3 YUTU lander is alive! Xband signals detected from moon and also EME reflection of Chinese TTC uplink on 7.2GHz – pics to follow!

    Meaning: The Chinese control station’s signal from the earth was seen as *reflected* off the moon (an “EME” transmission), as well as the signal from the YUTU lander.
    - – - – - –

    UHF Satcom ‏@uhf_satcom 8h
    First, EME signal from YUTU uplink on 7202.381MHz ; http://pjm.uhf-satcom.com/twtr/yutu_eme_7202381.jpg … a big old signal and a piece of cake to copy in the speaker!

    Meaning: The signal from the Chinese control signal as seen bounced off the moon (EME or Earth Moon Earth path).
    - – - – - – -

    UHF Satcom ‏@uhf_satcom 8h
    And, the signal we’ve all been waiting for, direct downlink from the Yutu rover! http://pjm.uhf-satcom.com/twtr/yutu_8462077.jpg … a pretty good signal!

    Meaning: The signal from the Yutu rover (the ‘downlink’ signal from the moon to the earth) was picked up.
    - – - – - –

    UHF Satcom ‏@uhf_satcom 8h
    Almost forgot; audio recording of the uplink signal bounced off the moon; http://pjm.uhf-satcom.com/twtr/yutu_uplink_eme.wav … – pretty good signal I reckon!

    Meaning: A recording of the uplink signal (the signal from the Chinese control station on earth) as bounced off the moon and received by the UHF-Satcom folks is provided.
    - – - – -

    UHF Satcom ‏@uhf_satcom 7h
    A quick Doppler corrected plot using r00ts amazing software tools; http://pjm.uhf-satcom.com/twtr/yutu_eme_7202377.jpg … this is the 7.2GHz uplink to the Yutu rover

    Meaning: The Doppler shift present on the received signal was ‘corrected’.
    - – - –

    UHF Satcom ‏@uhf_satcom 7h
    @LunarOrbiter LOL it has; http://pjm.uhf-satcom.com/twtr/yutu_8462077.jpg … and its transmitting a signal right now!!!

    Meaning: A signal received from the Lunar Orbiter was received..
    - – - –

    UHF Satcom ‏@uhf_satcom 7h
    http://pjm.uhf-satcom.com/twtr/yutu_84620756.jpg … Doppler corrected signal from Yutu rover, pretty strong signals, in fact almost the best I have seen! I need a QSL!

    Meaning: Signal from Yutu rover shown on a spectral display screen grab.
    - – - – - –

    UHF Satcom ‏@uhf_satcom 7h
    Another shot of Net-SDR displaying 8MHz lump of band 2 – FM; https://www.dropbox.com/s/vtfv1z437wqixcl/FM_Broadcast.png … this is with the newly announced downconverter – i need

    Meaning: A reference to the RFSpace Net-SDR (network-interfaced Software Defined Radio) which is desired by the UHF_Satcom folks.
    - – - – - –

    @WH521 http://pjm.uhf-satcom.com/twtr/yutu_8462072.jpg … there you go – hot off the Spectavue press… FFT from Yutu rover, pretty good signals too! btw WWW fixed…

    Meaning: Yuto Rover signal being shown on a screen grab again.

  111. _Jim says:

    Oops, M ods/A nthony – a ‘hot’ one stuck in the spam queue …

  112. nobody says:

    Sorry Moon, their is a no return policy!

  113. u.k.(us) says:

    Is this like a top-secret mission or what ?
    No official word from China ?

    I imagine they are busy trying to establish comms :)
    It is after all ~ 1.5 light-seconds away.
    Get-r-done.

  114. Tom from Germany says:

    Concerning the low price & quality of a variety of chinese products: Some of the stuff sold is simply the rubbish which didn´t pass Q.C. at companies who are aware of quality. We can safely assume, that there are chinese manufacturers (engineers, workers) who can & do built quality products: From engines for BMW motorcycles to high-end hifi equipment and Iphones. There are on the other hand also those shrewd chinese who get hold of the second qualitiy or even the “Q.C. failed” rubbish and sell it on for low prices – attracting the price-sensitive customer…

    As far as german cars (or motorcycles) go: I think the best days quality wise ended the 90s and perhaps the early years of 2000. This is just a general statement, there are some model-ranges that hold up better than others (VW Vans for example). The trend to fill the vehicles with electronic gizzmos has resulted in reduced reliability and lots of quirks. Software problems can cause gear-shifting difficulties, excessive consumption, erratic “light shows”, unmotivated running on emergency-mode, and a lot of other entertainment. Only the drivers can appreciate the “fun” you can have.

    If you want to know more about China, I´d recommend reading “When China Rules The World” by Martin Jaques. Check it out.

    One last bit concerning quality, reputation and how this can change:
    The label “Made in Germany” was introduced in the 19. century because of british threats to stop imports from Germany unless they be labelled. This was to ascertain that every consumer could distinguish german products because these had a reputation for beeing of inferior quality. So “Made in Germany” initially meant “crap”. Not quite what it means today.

    Last not least: I fully agree with Timothy Sorensen.

  115. Brian H says:

    “was has failed” Has were it weawy? Are do the reason knowed?

  116. Sparks says:

    IT’S ALIIIVE “China’s Jade Rabbit comes BACK from the DEAD”

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/13/china_moon_rover_jade_rabbit_alive/

    Zombie Lunar rover… lol

  117. Kate Forney says:

    timothy sorenson says:
    February 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm
    I think praising them for what they have accomplished and encouraging them further is the only correct response.

    =====================================================

    You, sir, are a master of scorching, one-liner, satire. Impeccable delivery. Well played!

  118. beng says:

    ***
    Hoser says:
    February 12, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Sounds like the Sherman v. the Panzer or the Wildcat v. the Mitsubishi Zero.
    ***

    True. But w/a captured Zero, we built the Hellcat, and that turned things around & pasted the Zero.

  119. Joe says:

    Martin A says:
    February 12, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Quality is best defined as whatever the customer chooses it to be.

    Isn’t the fact that Walmart is packed with Chinese made goods a clue that the Chinese have understood *exactly* what quality is (so far as the US consumer is concerned) and are delivering it by the container shipful?
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    Very much this ^^^

    I repair watches. The vast majority of watch movements from China are horrendous piles of excrement fitted to cheap fakes and “market” watches but you can also buy a full tourbillon with retrograde day and date, designed and made in China, for under 5k of your American dollars. They compare very favourably with equivalent Swiss models (at 4 or 5 x the price) in terms of quality, accuracy and durability

    The point is that China is perfectly capable of producing everything from cheap junk to very high quality goods, they’re happy to supply at the price point their customers want, and. at a given price point they’ll beat most of the world in terms of quality.

  120. Alan says:

    ‘The report of my death was an exaggeration’. Mark Twain

  121. _Jim says:

    Further reports on the signals being received *directly* from the moon (these are reports directly from an observer seeing the transmissions from the Chinese craft/vehicles and *not* filtered info from news mediots):

    - – - – - –

    Paolo ‏@plutogno 9h
    @uhf_satcom can you tell whether the downlink is from the HGA? it would mean that the antenna + camera mast is still useable

    UHF Satcom 9H
    @plutogno A good question, based on previous signals I would reckon what I see is from the LGA. So far only seen 1 ‘test’ via the HGA

    - – - – -

    UHF Satcom ‏@uhf_satcom 1h
    Nice clear skies and great signals from Yutu rover!
    FFT — http://pjm.uhf-satcom.com/twtr/yutu_8462081_130214.jpg
    audio – http://pjm.uhf-satcom.com/twtr/yutu_downlink_130214.wav … –
    freq 8462.081MHz +- Doppler

    .

  122. _Jim says:

    beng says February 13, 2014 at 6:05 am

    True. But w/a captured Zero, we built the Hellcat, and that turned things around & pasted the Zero.

    Hmmm … this seems to one of those persistent ‘urban legends’ … from here I find this:

    Incidentally, let’s dispel an aviation legend right here: the F6F Hellcat was NOT designed after a Zero was captured intact during attacks on Aleutian islands early in the war. By that time the prototype was already flying and the primary value of the captured Zero was that it told the Navy and Grumman Aircraft that their basic design assumptions had been dead on the money.

    Also this: History Spotlight: The Myth of the F6F and the Akutan Zero

    In reality, the Hellcat had been in the works for more than a year before Koga’s crash. Grumman was looking to build a superior version of the F4F Wildcat using a more powerful engine – initially, the Wright R-2600, but soon the superior Pratt & Whitney R-2800. The size of that engine meant that the entire plane had to be larger; the landing gear moved from the fuselage to the lower wings to provide clearance for the larger propeller; visibility for the pilot was greatly improved; and the plane had far greater range. In all, it was a very different airplane from the Wildcat even when it was first ordered – on June 30, 1941, a full six months before the start of the Pacific War and a year before the recovery of Koga’s Zero.

    .

  123. _Jim says:

    This may be where this ‘myth’ first appeared, in the first edition of the book “Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians” By Brian Garfield.

    That incorrect rumor is shown corrected in this 1995 ADDENDUM here on page 52 of the second edition of the book “Thousand-Mile War”.

    .

  124. george e. smith says:

    I recently bought some (very expensive) New Zealand Merino wool shirts for a toddler, from a very expensive all New Zealand specialty clothing store in a very expensive SF Bay area shopping mall.

    I expected to find that they were made by Canterbury Woolen Mills, or some other fine Kiwi establishment. Not so, essentially 100% of everything NZ Merino woolen, they had in the store was made in China. The store freely admitted that all of their manufacturing was now done in China. Simple matter of economics. Kiwis don’t work for free, and maybe they also have minimum wage laws too.

    By the way, the quality of manufacture was spectacular; totally impeccable. You can manufacture in China, if you keep control of the process, and have your own QA system built in. No, made in China clothes that you find in Walmart, do NOT compare in quality to the Kiwi woolen stuff from this specialty store, but they are many times cheaper at Walmart.

    I bought five pairs of Chinese made shoes from Walmart; all at once, sneakers, and dress shoes and casuals. Cost me $60 for the whole shebang, including California’s punitive sales tax.. That was at least five years ago, and all five pairs are still going strong. I did finally ditch the Nike sneakers that I wore into Walmart, the day I bought all this stuff; well it’s embarrassing walking around with sneakers that have the soles taped on with duck tape, after having worn out the original edges.

    I think the governing principle is the “poorly manufactured” part of the China story. So don’t buy those poorly manufactured things.

    Nikon, builds a whole lot of their cameras and lenses n China (in their own factory). Mostly their consumer introductory stuff, and although some of them look cheap, their optical performance is still first class; they just may not last as long. Nikon also has a big offshore Nikon plant in Thailand, and everything built there is up to their prime Japanese factory standards. That place was shut down for a while during the Fukushima (odd name) accident, and Tsunami.

    I’d still like to see smart manufacturing returned to the USA, so we can use some of our own coal to fuel their manufacture.

  125. beng says:

    ***
    _Jim says:
    February 13, 2014 at 11:50 am
    ***

    I stand corrected. Dang the History Channel.

  126. When you bring up the subject of chinese product quality, you all need to talk to some product liability lawyers, or automotive supply chain supplier QC folks.

    The one consistent story I am getting via the quality control world is is how every single Chinese manufacturer goes shoddy the longer you use them.

    _EVERY_SINGLE_ONE_

    You have to watch them like hawks and be prepared to walk away at the first sign of shoddy.

    The usual foreign company response is to sent QC experts with the power to cut off Chinese companies for poor quality.

    See:

    How to Ensure the Effectiveness of QC Inspections in China
    by Renaud Anjoran on 6 February 2014
    http://www.qualityinspection.org/

    and

    How to deal with production problems in China
    by Renaud Anjoran on 31 July 2010
    http://www.qualityinspection.org/production-problems-in-china/

    This interview of Paul Midler, author of the book “Poorly Made in China: An Insider’s Account of the Tactics Behind China’s Production Game” is pretty typical of the Quality assurance main stream regards dealing with Chinese suppliers:

    Explaining China’s Quality Control Problems: A new book goes behind the scenes of manufacturers and importers.
    By Kimberly Palmer Apr. 23, 2009
    http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/alpha-consumer/2009/04/23/explaining-chinas-quality-control-problems

    This key question and answer from the interview encapsulates what I
    have seen and heard professionally:

    >Some say that China is going through what Japan went through in the 1950s.
    >Or quality problems in China today are sometimes compared with quality
    >problems Americans suffered in the 19th century. What do you say to these
    >sorts of claims?

    I’m not so sure about the analogy with Japan in the 1950s. In China,
    you have specifications reductions that result in what I call “quality
    fade,” but then you also have some rather willful game playing where
    quality is manipulated in such a way so as to fool laboratory
    equipment and inspection. The melamine scandal in China’s dairy
    industry is a case in point, though it affected the Chinese more than
    it affected the rest of the world. You have large number of industry
    insiders who were adding a chemical ingredient in order to circumvent
    testing controls. You have in China quite literally thousands of
    foreign inspectors running around China in a bid to preempt disaster.
    This phenomenon did not exist in Japan at any point in its
    development.

    Every Chinese manufacturer has a “Communist Party Prince” silent
    partner that wants more and will cheapen the product in some way to
    get his. That is the nature of China and nothing will prevent the
    parasites from taking their share.

    The problem most foreign companies have with really powerful
    “Prince” silent partners is that you cannot assume that the goods
    inspected in China by outside inspector are the ones exported.

    Absent counterfeit-proof serial numbers, a corrupt government (one
    whose officials are corrupt and can’t be purged) can overcome any QA
    process in their jurisdiction.

    Part of the reason I am harping on this subject is that the ultimate
    product of any industrial process within an authoritarian/totalitarian
    political system is toxic waste.

    You cannot root out corruption in authoritarian/totalitarian
    political systems because it always devolves down the lowest level due
    to the lack of checks and balances of a representative government that
    allows real judicial risk/liability assignment outside of politics.

    The Stalinist terror that was required to keep corruption centralized
    in the USSR cannot be sustained over the long term.

    China is on the same “political corruption failure trajectory” as
    the Soviet Union. They are just taking longer thanks to outside
    infusions of capitalism and quality control.

    The pollution of China’s land air and water is the quite literally
    flaming datum of that trajectory.

  127. _Jim says:

    Trent Telenko says February 13, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    You have in China quite literally thousands of foreign inspectors running around China in a bid to preempt disaster. This phenomenon did not exist in Japan at any point in its development.

    Could this have been because of the Japanese embraced and appreciated, in large part, the work of Dr. Deming?

    Deming Influence on Post-war Japanese Quality Development

    About Dr. W. Edwards Deming

    … in 1950, he gave the first in a dozen sets of lectures, starting with the Union of Japanese Scientists and Engineers (JUSE), including Ichiro Ishikawa, the JUSE president.

    The Japanese established the Deming Prize in 1951 for individual contributions in statistical theory and for companies applying statistics.

    During the period of his legendary turnaround activities in Japan, in which he trained 20,000 engineers in rudimentary statistical methods within 10 years, Deming pursued a similar mission in the United States. However, it took the Americans much longer to pay attention to his teachings.

    .

  128. From Wikipedia Feb. 24.
    Command Control was expecting the rover to contact Earth on 12 February 2014 had it endured its second lunar night. Since it did not transmit any signals, the rover was officially declared permanently inoperative.[40] However, one day later, on 13 February, the rover reestablished communication with Command Control.[41][42][43] China’s lunar program spokesman Pei Zhaoyu declared that although Yutu is able to communicate, “it still suffers a mechanical control abnormality.”[44]

    Phys.org Feb. 24
    The rover entered its 3rd lunar night time hibernation period on February 22. It was still unable to move and serious technical troubles persist that are hampering science operations.[45] Chinese space officials have not divulged the exact nature of the problems, but stated that the ground penetrating radar, panoramic and infrared imaging equipment are functioning normally.[45][46]

    The rover, nicknamed ‘Jade Rabbit’ remained stationary during the just concluded two week long lunar day time period, said SASTIND. It was unable to move due to the mechanical glitches.

    “Yutu only carried out fixed point observations during its third lunar day.”

    But it did complete some limited scientific observations. And fortunately the ground penetrating radar, panoramic and infrared imaging equipment are functioning normally.

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