China Focus: China unveils preliminary plan on manned lunar landing-Xinhua

China Focus: China unveils preliminary plan on manned lunar landing

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2023-07-12 20:14:30

WUHAN, July 12 (Xinhua) -- China plans to land its taikonauts on the moon before 2030 to carry out scientific exploration, according to a preliminary plan released by the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on Wednesday.

The plan is to launch two carrier rockets to send a lunar lander and a manned spacecraft to a lunar orbit, respectively. The craft and lunar lander will rendezvous and dock with each other, and then taikonauts will enter the lander.

As the lunar lander descends and arrives at the preset area on the lunar surface, taikonauts will carry out scientific tasks and collect samples.

After completing the planned tasks, taikonauts will return to the lander, which will lift them back to the lunar orbit to dock with their spacecraft.

In the final step, the spacecraft will fly taikonauts back to Earth with lunar samples.

Chinese researchers are working on the development of the Long March-10 carrier rocket, a new generation of manned spacecraft, lunar lander, lunar landing spacesuit, manned lunar rover, and other equipment, said Zhang Hailian, deputy chief designer with the CMSA at a space industry forum in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province.

The new carrier rocket will have three and a half stages with a carrying capacity of about 27 tonnes to the lunar transfer orbit, and the rocket body is five meters in diameter.

The new generation of manned spacecraft has three parts -- an escape tower, a re-entry capsule, and a service capsule, Zhang said, adding that the new spaceship will employ module designs that can satisfy the needs of both near-Earth and deep-space explorations.

The landing rover will consist of two parts -- a landing section and a propulsion section, and can send two taikonauts to the lunar surface at the same time.

The lunar rover will weigh 200 kg and can accommodate two taikonauts.

In addition, the spacesuit being developed for the moon landing, with a single working time of no less than eight hours, will feature better mobilities to help taikonauts walk, climb, squat, drive, and operate machines.

Zhang said China would also explore the construction of a lunar scientific research station and carry out systematic and long-term lunar exploration and related technical tests and verification.