China Unveils Mars Rover Plans.

After landing the Jade Rabbit rover on the Moon, China has unveiled a design for a Mars rover mission.

A mock-up of a future Chinese Martian rover was displayed at the International Industry Fair in Shanghai (Credit: South China Morning Post)

Perhaps egged on by the success of the Indian Space Agency’s Mars mission, Chinese aspirations have increased.

The stated goal of the rover will be to search for life and water.  However, due to a limited budget, the Chinese Mars rover is competing with the other space programs for funding, like recent calls for a new heavy lift  launch system for human spaceflight.  This places the ambitious 2020 launch date in question.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

China To Have Space Station By 2022.

After an aggressive series of space programs, the Chinese government has set another ambitious goal: a space station of their own.

The space station will use modules that they have already placed in orbit and have manned for a short time, 15 days.  However, the data collected has proven valuable enough to move forward.

The government acknowledges that China must still master launching cargo and fuel using space freighters and recycling air and water for extended manned missions.  No small feat in the short amount of time that they have set for themselves.  A failure in any one of those systems will spell disaster.

The Chinese still lag pretty far behind the current crop of space nations, but are trying to catch up quickly.  We will have to wait and see if they can successfully accomplish what others have done before.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Obituary for the Jade Rabbit.

China’s state media made it official.  The jade rabbit rover is no more.

Lunar dust, which is probably more than even a Swifter(r) could handle, has been blamed.

china-national-space-administration-logo

However, the Chinese space agency has learned a lot about what it takes to go to the moon and to survive on the Lunar surface.  There are more missions planned and as I have said before space is dangerous.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Some Trouble For The Jade Rabbit.

China’s Jade Rabbit Moon rover is in trouble.  A week ago, Chinese state media reported that the rover had “mechanical control abnormality.”

Later the Xinhua news agency quoted officials that the rover was having problems because of the moon’s “complicated lunar surface environment.”

Contrary to popular belief, failure is an option in space exploration.  About half of all lunar missions attempted have failed.

Luna 2 Soviet moon probe.jpg

Starting with the Soviet Lunar 2 and currently ending with the Jade Rabbit, our closest neighbor isn’t all the easy to reach.

It seems like such a short distance (astronomically) of about 240,000 miles (384,000km).  But once you arrive (if you arrive), there are a lot of hazards to contend with.

There are potential meteor strikes, solar winds, solar radiation and, probably the worst of all, the lunar dust.

As you can see from the NASA graphic above, lunar dust is nasty stuff that will get into everything.  Although attempts to repair the Jade Rabbit will continue, it will probably be another week before there is enough sunlight to power the rover’s systems enough to see if repairs are possible.

Meanwhile, Chinese space enthusiasts using Sina Weibo (the Chinese version of twitter) quickly started posting comments and await news.

One person wrote: “Whatever happens, we must thank Jade Rabbit. When our generation tells stories to our children, we can confidently say: ‘There really is a Jade Rabbit on the moon!'” referring to the Chinese folktale about a rabbit on the Moon.

I’ll keep you posted on the status of the Jade Rabbit.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

USPTO Announces Access to Chinese Patent Documentation Via New Global Patent Search Network

In contrast to yesterday’s story, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently announced the launch of the Global Patent Search Network. Accessible via the USPTO website, the new database allows users to search and retrieve Chinese patent documentation.

According to the USPTO, the data available includes both full text Chinese patents and English machine translations. Users can currently search documents including published applications, granted patents and utility models from 2008 to 2011. The USPTO has indiacted the network will periodically be updated with more current data.

A recent blog post touted the benefits of the Global Search patent Network. “This new search tool delivers to the public, as well as our patent examiners, an additional source of foreign patent collections. Furthermore, the immediate availability of English machine translations will effectively address the language barrier and allow for quick analysis of the relevancy of the prior art while reducing the need for costly human translations. Machine translation technology can sometimes generate awkward wording, but it provides an excellent way to determine the gist of the information in a foreign patent.”

The initial launch of the Global Patent Search Network features only Chinese patent documentation. However, the USPTO plans to incorporate additional foreign patent collections in the future. Interestingly, the Global Patent Search Network is the first patent-related initiative to use cloud technology.

How Can I Help?

If you, or someone you know, need any help with Intellectual Property issues, from filing a patent, trademark or copyright, or just need advice regarding how best to protect your inventions, ideas or your brand, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Its Raining … China.

Although the Chinese Space Agency successfully launched the Yutu rover to the Moon this month there was some, er, fallout from the launch.

https://i0.wp.com/www.cinaoggi.it/images/stories/attualita/2011/aprile/space-debris/space-debris-001.jpg

A few pieces of the launch craft fell back, and onto, the country.  The US and other space launching countries tend to build these facilities near the coast so that the debris fall into the ocean, away from populated areas.

The Chinese, however, decided to build their launch facilities far inland (most probably due to military paranoia about prying eyes and ears).

Sometimes, the pieces falling back to Earth injure or kill people.  In one instance about 50 people died as a result of a failed launch.

Additionally, China is adding to our already staggering amount of space junk.  Although the US and the former Soviet Union are to blame for most of the junk orbiting the planet, China seems to be playing catch-up.  With China, India and other countries planning space launches along with all the commercial space ventures just starting, we need to figure out how to deal with the debris.

Otherwise, the movie Gravity is going to become a reality.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman