We should be ashamed
It's shameful that the United States, a pioneer in conquest of space, has relinquished it role because of faux monetary concerns. With all the tax dollars we waste every year on (unnecessary) social programs and corporate welfare, We could have allocated enough over the last twenty years to at least have a space program that could put men on Mars. Instead, the space leaders are China and Russia.
China's third lunar probe will blast off in the second half of 2013, the state Xinhua news agency reported late on Monday. Other reports said it would land and transmit back a survey of the moon's surface.
If successful, the landing would be China's first on the lunar surface and mark a new milestone in its space development. It is part of a project to orbit, land on and return from the moon, Xinhua said.
China said in its last white paper on space it was working towards landing a man on the moon, although it has not given a time frame.
Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space programme as a symbol of its rising global stature, growing technical expertise, and the Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.
It kicked off in 1999 with the launch of the unmanned Shenzhou-1. [...]