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Surprise, surprise. Notorious U.S. businessman Dennis Hope has found a new market for his faux moon deals. According to China Daily, "China may be years away from a lunar landing but one company is offering a piece of "land" there right now. The so-called Lunar Embassy, through which one can purchase an acre on the moon for 298 yuan (US$37), started operations yesterday in Beijing." (How do you say caveat emptor in Chinese?)
Meanwhile, an item in Xinhuanet quotes Li Juqian, associate professor at the Chinese University of Politics and Law, saying that while other nations have domestic space law, China does not, and "China should set up relevant laws as its space exploration accelerates." And, he specified, the "laws should protect private investment in the aerospace sector as more private parties enter space-related businesses." Li recommended China learn from other countries, and Space Law Probe is standing by with experts who can help. Just drop me an e-mail!
After Shenzhou VI successully completed China's second manned space mission, returning to Earth on Sunday after five days in orbit, director of the China Space Engineering Office Tang Xianming talked up the nation's space plans. An official said the next mission would take place in 2007, and would include a space walk. He also said China "might consider" female astronauts. (Whatever that means.) (AP via CNN)
People's Daily Online reports an Olympic flag orbited the Earth for five days aboard Shenzhou VI with two Chinese astronauts in a "show of China's commitment to the 2008 Games." China will host the 2008 Olympic games (not on the moon, but at home) in Beijing.
And this just in, China's first space tourist ponied up $100,000 for a 90-minute sub-orbital joy ride in 2007. The lucky guy is Jiang Fang, "president of a Hong Kong company that acts as the China agent for U.S.-based space tourism firm Space Adventures." (Reuters via MSNBC)
Finally, is there any truth to the tale that the Great Wall of China is "the only man-made object visible from space"? NASA has the lowdown.
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(By the way, the Chinese quotation at top is, "Set the goal too high and far off!" Courtesy of China the Beautiful.)