Monday, December 22, 2008

China's role in Team Selene tentative

Could be new diplomatic opportunity
By Peter J Brown - Asia Times Online

Just a few days ago, the organizers of the Google Lunar X Prize announced that one of the new international participants was a Shanghai-based German-Chinese team known as Team Selene. This team has proposed a Lunar Rocket Car (LuRoCA 1) equipped with HDTV cameras.

This might not necessarily turn out to be one of the first commercial success stories in Chinese space history. Still, it is noteworthy. Markus Bindhammer, the German-born inventor who heads the team - Shi Xiaojun serves as executive designer - believes that Team Selene has caught everyone by surprise. He is not aware of any other Chinese aerospace or space technology companies active in this competition which now includes well over a dozen active teams.

"Our project is the first one [from China]. China will follow it, but with reservations at first. China is very open to new things and the people are enthusiastic. It is a first step in terms of cooperation between China and other nations regarding astronautics, and also a great chance for the Chinese aerospace industry," said Bindhammer.

Team Selene is not getting any support from the Chinese government or China's aerospace industry because nobody seems to know much about it.

Read more HERE.

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