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Initial Lunar Landing Plan Unveiled

Source: Science and Technology Daily | 2023-07-20 10:53:18 | Author: LU Zijian

China plans to land on the moon and conduct scientific expedition before 2030, followed by the construction of a lunar scientific experiment station. (PHOTO: VCG)

By LU Zijian

China plans to land on the moon and conduct scientific expedition before 2030, followed by the construction of a lunar scientific experiment station, which will carry out systematic, continuous lunar exploration and experiments, along with verification of corresponding technologies, said Zhang Hailian, deputy chief designer with the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA), at a mid-July forum in Wuhan, central China's Hubei province.

According to the preliminary plan of China's lunar landing introduced by Zhang, there will be two craft, a lunar lander and a manned spacecraft, which will be sent into the lunar orbit separately by two carrier rockets. The two will then conduct rendezvous and docking maneuvers, allowing astronauts to enter the lunar lander from the spacecraft.

The lunar lander plans to land on a designated area of the lunar surface. The astronauts will conduct scientific expeditions and collect samples in the area.

When the tasks are done, the astronauts will return to the lunar orbit in the lander, which will dock with the spacecraft. The astronauts then move into the spacecraft with lunar samples and return to Earth.

To make this process happen, researchers are now working on the development of equipment, including the Long March-10 carrier rocket, a new-generation manned spacecraft, the lunar lander and a manned lunar rover, said Zhang.

The Long March-10 carrier rocket has a 3.5-level structure and a diameter of five meters, with a carrying capacity of 27 tons on the trans-lunar injection orbit. The new-generation manned spacecraft has a modular design, consisting of an escape tower, a re-entry capsule and a service capsule, which could be adapted to both near-earth and deep-space tasks.

Meanwhile, the lunar lander is made up of a lander module and a propelling module, being able to send two astronauts to the lunar surface. The 200kg manned lunar rover can also carry two astronauts.

Additionally, researchers are researching moon landing spacesuits, which could operate for eight hours. The spacesuits should have abilities to support astronauts in their walking, climbing and driving during extravehicular activities.

Editor: 林雨晨

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