Not the Americans, the Chinese:
China will land on the Moon tomorrow:
China will become first country to land on the Moon for 37 years when its rover touches down on Saturday. The unmanned craft ‘Chang’e-3’ is expected to land at 3pm GMT on a lava plain known as the Bay of Rainbows. It has been travelling since December 2.
It will make China one of only three nations, after the United States and the former Soviet Union, to ‘soft-land’ on the Moon’s surface.
Probes and missiles have been fired at the Moon to take readings and throw dust into the atmosphere, but no space programme has attempted to land since the Russians sent a rover to collect soil samples in 1976.
The Chinese claim they are looking for natural resources such as rare metals. But US Apollo astronauts Eugene Cernan and ‘Buzz Aldrin’ have pointed out that the landing module is far bigger than needed to carry a rover and believe it may be a trial run for a human landing. US scientists have also expressed concern that the mission could skew the results of a NASA study of the Moon’s dust environment.
Chinese officials have already stated that they are keen to send humans to the Moon, in what would be the first manned lunar missions since the US Apollo programme in the 1960s and 1970s.
So much for the idea that all the tremendously advanced technology of the 1960s has been lost forever, rendering any future such attempts impossible. What I think would be absolutely hilarious is NASA ends up accusing the Chinese space program of faking its future manned Moon landings.
Now THAT would make for a great comedic conspiracy movie.