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World Observer

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China displays pieces of a crewed moon landing project

ByJerzy Nawrocki

Oct 6, 2021

At a major airshow, China is displaying a variety of components for prospective human lunar landing missions, claiming that a super heavy-lift rocket is going to be ready by the year 2028. The 13th Zhuhai Airshow, which runs from September 28 to October 3, features 2 super heavy-lift rockets, a return capsule from the prototype new-generation crew spaceship, its parachutes, and a Chang’e-5 spacecraft.

By 2030, China’s in-development rockets and crew spaceship could enable the country to put astronauts on the moon. Aside from that, the biggest rocket might carry buildings to the moon’s surface for a long-term stay. A Chang’e-5 model was also on display. In 2020, the mission showed a few of the maneuvers and technology needed to successfully return astronauts to Home, including lunar orbit rendezvous as well as docking and the high-speed skip reentry. The exhibitions together show China’s present goals for going to the moon and back and shifts in past thinking.

At China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) exhibition area, the so-known new-generation crewed launch vehicle rests among models of several Long March vehicles. CASC is developing the new launcher to suit the criteria of China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO), which is in charge of the country’s human spaceflight efforts.

It will have three five-meter-diameter first-stage cores and clusters of YF-100K engines—upgraded models of YF-100 kerosene engines utilized by China’s new Long March 7, 6, and 5 launchers be capable of launching 27 tons into the lunar transfer orbit.

Long Lehao, who serves as the senior space sector official as well as Long March rocket designer, proposed a mission architecture in June that would send two humans to the lunar surface for 6 hours utilizing two deployments of the new crew rocket, dubbed “Long March 5 Dengyue (“moon landing”).” According to the presentation, such a mission could be doable by 2030 with the new crew spacecraft. China is also believed to be developing a lunar lander. However, no design has been revealed publicly.

According to Liu Bing, who serves as the deputy director-designer in charge of General Design Department at China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), the rocket will inherit the design, reliability, and high safety requirements of the Long March 2F launcher utilized to launch Shenzhou missions. The redesigned launcher concept was initially shown at the Zhuhai Airshow in 2018.

The personnel launcher, which would be able to deploy 70 tons to LEO, would have approximately three times the payload capacity of China’s present largest rocket, which is the Long March 5. This launcher is going to be used for potential human lunar exploration missions such as circumlunar, lunar orbit, and landing missions, according to CASC. It hasn’t been given a firm date for its first flight, and its appearance hasn’t been finalized.

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