While between Russia and other Western countries, they openly confront each other regarding sanctions that also affect space sectorThe China Instead, it continues to develop its plans that are looking forward tolow earth orbit (LEO), and the moon And the Mars. If all that has been announced is completed, it will be a great leap forward to be completed in the coming decades.
In particular will indicate to finish From Chinese space station Tiangong (CSS), on the International Lunar Research Base and reporting rock samples from Mars. These are all ambitious goals, above all because they were largely achieved with little cooperation from other agencies. Another point that will be developed in parallel will be space tourism, similar to what has been accomplished by SpaceX, Axiom Space, Blue Origin and others.
China will host foreign astronauts at the Tiangong Space Station
When we wrote about the possibility (not yet certain) that Russia could leave cooperation to the International Space Station after 2024, one hypothesis put forward was that astronauts could be accommodated aboard Tiangong space station. Rogozin himself (director of the Russian Space Agency) may happen From this possibility a few months ago, in addition to the ability to build the new Russian Space Station (RUS).
Zhou Jianpinghead of China’s human space program, said in Interview That it would be possible in the future to host foreign astronauts on board. No mention is made of Roscosmos or ESA (the companies CNSA cooperates with), but it could be an interesting window into Russia, leaving the Western counterpart in difficulty. but first China You will want to make sure your CSS is secure and in its final configuration. This should not happen before the end of 2022.
There will also be space onboard for private astronauts or private sector payloads. However, for those who do not want to target such an extreme experience, there will be other solutions. after the first show In August 2021, a sub-orbital launch vehicle was developed for space tourism. According to the latest information, the debut (possibly unmanned) will be in 2022 with flights available starting in 2025. It will be able to carry up to seven passengers for a total period (more than 100 km of altitude) of 3-5 minutes .
China, the Moon and Mars: News about the missions
China’s (very clear and complex) space program does not end here. In particular, we look at the following tasks a change ‘-5 which reported 1.7 kg of lunar regolith at the end of 2020. The new missions will aim to pave the way for the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS).
in particular for Chang’e-6 discussed Recently Landing location: Options look at the far side of the moon or near the moon’s south pole. This is a backup mission to the previous mission, and therefore it will be technically similar and will be able to collect samples and return them to Earth.
Then we move to Chang’e-7. This will be different and will aim to find traces water ice In the south pole region of the moon, search for raw materials in the region and have a scientific and technical basis for the future ILRS. Interestingly, this task may also have a device capable of this “to fly” From the landing site to a nearby crater to search for ice. This will allow for more flexibility rather than being skewed to just one area.
Finally, the China can be Re-sampling of rocks From another planet by NASA/ESA. This will be the first time in human history given that we have samples from satellites (the Moon) and asteroids but not from larger bodies. It will also be the first mission to launch from a planet other than Earth.
Wu Weren (Scientist collaborates on the mission) I announced That this mission will face difficult challenges and will be similar in some respects to Chang’e-5. The main steps will be similar to those of the mission Sample return task. There will then be a capsule that will land on the surface of Mars and extract some samples and seal them. Then there will be a system to send the samples into orbit where they will be collected by an orbital vehicle that will bring them back to Earth.
Unlike Chang’e-5, the mass will be higher due to the fuel needed to return from Mars. This means making a more powerful missile. One of the candidates for this task is Long March 9 and is currently under construction. In the long run, with other tasks, the goal will be to reach 15 billion km From the Earth to the outer regions of the solar system. This must be done before 2049, the year in which the centenary of the People’s Republic of China is celebrated.
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