THREE MORE MISSIONS TO THE MOON ARE APPROVED BY CHINA OVER THE NEXT DECADE
Over the next decade, China has approved three more missions to the Moon, including rovers, a flying craft, and the establishment of a permanent base.
This will be the fourth phase of China’s lunar plan, which has already seen the country photograph the moon’s dark side and return lunar rock samples to Earth.
Future missions, which are set to launch in 2024, will become more complex, yielding a basic model of a lunar research station built on the Moon.
This station is a collaboration between NASA and Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, and is expected to be operational in time for a joint crewed mission in 2030.
According to Wu Yanhua, deputy head of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), the trio of uncrewed moon missions, known as Chang’e 6, 7, and 8, will launch on a variety of spacecraft throughout the 2020s.
The move is part of China’s growing space exploration push, which will see the country launch its own space station in 2021.
Chang’e-6 will be the first mission to investigate the Moon’s southern polar region.
It is scheduled to debut in 2023 or 2024.
According to the Chinese space agency, Chang’e-7 will study the land surface, composition, and space environment as part of a larger mission, whereas Chang’e-8 will focus on technical surface analysis.
China is also said to be working on 3D printing a lunar base and sending a future crewed mission to the surface.
As it tries to verify technology for the project, Chang’e-8 will most likely lay the groundwork for this.
Chang’e 7, the first of NASA’s phase four moon missions, is scheduled to launch in 2024, when humans are expected to return to the moon.
A relay satellite, a lander, a rover, and a small flying craft, similar to the NASA Ingenuity helicopter used on Mars, will be part of the Chinese mission.
The moon vehicles are being used to look for evidence of ice at the lunar south pole, which could provide water and fuel for a future colony.
They’ll have radar, a camera, a mineral imager, a thermometer, and even a water-molecule analyzer on board.
The mission will launch on China’s largest rocket, the Long March 5, with the goal of creating a comprehensive picture of the lunar environment.
Chang’e 6 will be the second to launch, though no specific dates have been announced for when it will leave the Earth.
It was conceived as a backup for the Chang’e 5 sample-return mission, which brought rock samples back to Earth…
Nokia News in a Nutshell