Instruments aboard the spacecraft indicated that Mars had no significant magnetic field and no appreciable radiation belts. -- The Surveyor 1 spacecraft made a triumphant soft landing on the moon and was hailed as the first man-made vehicle ever to settle gently onto another celestial body.Thirty-six minutes after landing, Surveyor topped this feat by sending back photographs of the moon's surface and one of its own crushable, aluminum honey-combed "feet," or landing pads. -- The three-man crew of astronauts for the Apollo 1 mission were killed in a flash fire aboard the huge spacecraft designed to take man to the moon.
In reality, the situation is nothing like the 1960s when the U. and Soviet Union competed to be first to send humans to the lunar surface and return them to Earth. Once a race is won, there is little incentive to keep racing. It is not driven by schedule or deadlines or by seeking a specific goal.
Both aspire to be at the leading edge of technological innovation. Both countries recognize that space achievements, in addition to their tangible benefits, remain potent symbols of a nation’s vitality.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, as Chang’e-4 landed, tweeted “this is a first for humanity and an impressive accomplishment!
In that ongoing competition, the reality is that both countries can take a leading position — there is no need for there to be only one leader.
Shared space leadership is not a foregone conclusion, however.