It has been a colourful time of late for things of a high-flying nature.

The two extremes of space travel have emerged, and there was a few million (likely billion) dollars going up... and coming down.

While the Russians were steering an unwanted old satellite past its use-by date back to earth, the Chinese were switching on the torches aboard their brand new little craft so they could land it on the unseen side of our moon.

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The dark side which never sees earth, and which of course we never get to see.

Until now... just so long as the Chinese space tech crew share the pictures they take with us.

I daresay anyone with a Huawei cellphone will have automatic access.

I watched a snippet on the telly about the Chinese moon craft and what its creators and steerers are hoping to achieve with it.

Something to do with digging in to see what's there and what could be done with it.

Which is very exciting, although I thought the American lab-lads had exhausted that path.

They didn't find water or gold or traces of bourbon so that was that.

Leave the old landing craft there and start looking at Mars instead.


What intrigued me most of all though was the fact the Chinese spacewatchers put their clearly well-engineered device down over on that side of the moon unseen from earth.

Out of sight... so what are they really doing there?

It's when the earth-based monitors and spacewatchers start picking up signs of glowing lights on what had been the dark side of the moon that the American lunar missions may just start up again.

"No Mr President... we do not have the funds or logistics to build a wall on the moon."

I am most impressed with the pace at which the Chinese have successfully entered that things known as "the space race".

But hey, they are the folks who sparked up fireworks and skyrockets 1000 or so years ago so they're obviously pretty savvy.

And so it came to pass (literally at the end of the day) that while the Chinese were humming a suitable Pink Floyd song to accompany their journey to the moon, the Russians were putting together a plane to "disestablish" an old satellite that was edging closer to earth, orbit by orbit.

And to their credit they hit the "now" button while the thing was out off the eastern seaboard where the skies were clear and the ocean below equally clear... of things bits could potentially hammer into.

For that eastern landscape is, by all accounts, a most suitable place for space agencies to dump their unwanted goods.

You can't recycle a satellite because once they start coming through those layers of atmospheric stuff up there they tend to catch fire.

And bless the Putin pack, they picked a great time as the cricket was sort of just ambling along at that stage so the crowd and the camera crews had an extra treat to watch, and there was no cost involved.

I can recall many years ago when an old skylab or station of some sort (my memory is a shocker) was being sent back to earth with a final resting spot way out in the distant Pacific to the southeast.

The NASA crew put out a great map showing where the falling and increasingly glowing thing would travel.

And it transpired that Hawke's Bay was well in the sight line.

We went out to Hardinge Rd and parked up, along with 100 or so others and waited for the allotted time to arrive.

And this bright white thing was right on schedule.

Hurtling high and fast overhead with excited people pointing up and shouting to alert others to its arrival.

Straight over us, and off into the horizon.

And again... no cost involved.

The fiery Russian arrival would have been all nuts and bolts, so to speak, which I guess is why it made such a spectacular sight.

But the lads managing its descent failed on one front.

They didn't tell enough people where and when they were going to do it.

But hey, I like a nice surprise and skywatching on a clear night usually results in seeing something coming over.

And keep an eye on that moon.

Bound to be some fireworks up there soon.