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Thread: China's future space plans

  1. #31
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    Looks like the recently introduced Chinese space tug, Yuanzheng-1, is to become a standard feature. They have used it again, this time to put two of their navigation satellites into the correct orbits.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20..._134446699.htm

    They were sent into their preset orbits by a Long March-3B/Expedition-1 carrier rocket 3.5 hours after the launch, the center said.

    Expedition-1, or Yuanzheng-1, is an independent aircraft installed on the carrier rocket with the ability of sending one or more spacecraft into different orbits in space.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2015-Jul-27 at 01:54 PM.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Looks like the recently introduced Chinese space tug, Yuanzheng-1, is to become a slandered feature. They have used it again, this time to put two of their navigation satellites into the correct orbits.
    That word "Aircraft" got me wondering why they would use such a word. Probably just a translation error, but they do have a mini shuttle similar to the X37B in their future plans. I don't know if the are trying to confuse the issue because that is also called Yuanzheng (or the reporters are getting them confused). We had that discussion before on the Space Tug thread.

    What this launch did have was their tug.
    NASASpaceflight has a much more detailed article about this launch. What I found interesting is they stated:
    The upper stage should be able to conduct two burns and has a 6.5 hour lifetime.
    On the Space tug thread(#13) there was an article that said:
    ...carry out in-orbit flight for up to 48 hours, and can repeatedly start up its main engine more than 20 times.
    More discrepancies on their space program reporting, although maybe the end goal is the latter while each mission is tailored to its purpose.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    That word "Aircraft" got me wondering why they would use such a word. Probably just a translation error, but they do have a mini shuttle similar to the X37B in their future plans. I don't know if the are trying to confuse the issue because that is also called Yuanzheng (or the reporters are getting them confused). We had that discussion before on the Space Tug thread.

    What this launch did have was their tug.
    NASASpaceflight has a much more detailed article about this launch. What I found interesting is they stated:

    On the Space tug thread(#13) there was an article that said:


    More discrepancies on their space program reporting, although maybe the end goal is the latter while each mission is tailored to its purpose.
    I think a lot get mistranslated and so confuses the rest of us. This is certainly not a mini shuttle, more like the Russian Fregat. Also they have two space tugs with the Yuanzheng-2 to be tested in a few years - it could be when they start building their space Station. I expect Yuanzheng-2 to last longer and it might be refueled and might have the ability to pick and move objects.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    I expect Yuanzheng-2 to last longer and it might be refueled and might have the ability to pick and move objects.
    What gives you this expectation?
    The only thing I can find about Y2 is that it is designed to be flown on the LM5. I can see the possibilities of lasting longer and docking with objects, but refueling such a small craft doesn't seem efficient. As I said in the other thread, by the time you send up the fuel, rendezvous, dock and do the fuel transfer, you might as well just send another.
    Refueling is best for large complex craft.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    What gives you this expectation?
    The only thing I can find about Y2 is that it is designed to be flown on the LM5. I can see the possibilities of lasting longer and docking with objects, but refueling such a small craft doesn't seem efficient. As I said in the other thread, by the time you send up the fuel, rendezvous, dock and do the fuel transfer, you might as well just send another.
    Refueling is best for large complex craft.
    LM5 is needed for the construction of the Space Station and Y2 will help with that. I did read about the refueling as an option for the Y2 only it was not decided if it was traditional fuel transfer or it comes in a canister and they swap it.

  6. #36
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    A bit worrying if the latest report coming out of China on the large explosion at China’s port city of Tianjin are true. It might have a direct effect on China's future space plans. It seems that a lot of the testing and production of the new Long March rockets are done in around the city of Tianjin. No one seems to know how far/near the space assets were to the explosion and if any were damaged or destroyed.

    Keeping fingers crossed that all is OK.

    http://www.leonarddavid.com/aftermat...space-program/

    The recent horrific explosions, loss of life and property, and lingering environmental issues at China’s port city of Tianjin may have a ripple effect that could affect China’s space program.

    State-run news outlets in China note that the Tianhe-1 — a major supercomputer installation has been shut down — a move that some reports say is tied to China’s space program. The huge explosions broke windows at the National Supercomputing center, collapsing ceilings at parts of the center.

    Furthermore, there are other space-related facilities in Tianjin’s Binhai New Area – supporting infrastructure for the development of China’s first space station, specifically the rockets that are to supply elements required for the large orbiting complex.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    Keeping fingers crossed that all is OK.
    China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation put out an announcement on WeChat with a map of it aerospace units, including rocket manufacturing facilities, showing them to be over 10 km away. No major damage, production back to normal soon after the blasts (apparently).

    tianjin-aerospace-units-map-blast.PNG

    More info in the second part of this article: http://gbtimes.com/china/china-using...njin-explosion

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceLizard View Post
    China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation put out an announcement on WeChat with a map of it aerospace units, including rocket manufacturing facilities, showing them to be over 10 km away. No major damage, production back to normal soon after the blasts (apparently).

    tianjin-aerospace-units-map-blast.PNG



    More info in the second part of this article: http://gbtimes.com/china/china-using...njin-explosion
    Thanks. That is good to know.

  9. #39
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    Nothing new that we have not speculated about China’s future space plans in this forum. But it is nice to know that it is also in their plans.

    Their chief engineer of China’s lunar exploration and the head of the space exploration technology commission of the China Society of Astronautics, Wu Weiren, said the moon is the starting point for China's future space exploration plans.

    http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-s...00054&cid=1101

    At the conference, held at the Harbin Institute of Technology, Liu Jizhong, director of the Lunar Exploration Program and Space Engineering Center under the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, said China's space ambitions will revolve around Mars exploration, the next stages of lunar exploration and related research, and asteroid exploration as well as the exploration of Jupiter and beyond.

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    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2015-Aug-21 at 02:27 AM.
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    Any news on CZ-9 what with the economic downturn? Russia nixed its superheavy in favor or modest Angara development.

    That having been said, they are looking into wings again:
    http://sputniknews.com/russia/201508...et-system.html

    Germany has an all rocket system http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/08/ger...cc88eddb94ad71

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Any news on CZ-9 what with the economic downturn?
    Was there any news before the economic downturn?
    With them still trying to get CZ/LM-5 and CZ/LM-7 off the ground along with a space station and other projects, it's going to be a while for them to design a whole new rocket.
    If there is news, I'm sure Selvaarchi will find it and put it on the Long March thread.


    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    That having been said, they are looking into wings again:
    http://sputniknews.com/russia/201508...et-system.html
    That would be interesting, but the article keeps mentioning Buran. Other than shape, this has nothing in common with Buran. It is both a booster stage (like the shuttle in that it has the engines) and a fuel tank. I would think it has a better chance of flyback reusability than F9, but F9 has the advantage of additional boosters or multiple cores. It will be interesting to watch, and deserves a thread of its own. (especially since this is a Chinese thread)

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Any news on CZ-9 what with the economic downturn? Russia nixed its superheavy in favor or modest Angara development.
    The time line for the CZ-9 is 2028/29 so do not expect any news of it yet. For now it is full stream ahead for the CZ-5,6&7 as well as the space station. Then the moon landings and only then the CZ-9 and the moon bases.

  13. #43
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    China has taken up 3D printing, The latest example was with their micro-satellites, Pujiang-1. The satellite's titanium antenna holder was produced by 3D printers in just three days. The performance indicators of the holder are said to match those made from traditional manufacturing techniques, which would have taken around four months.

    http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news/c...00051&cid=1101

    China has successfully launched a satellite featuring 3D printing technology into space, reports Duowei News, a US-based Chinese political news outlet.

    On Sept. 25, the new solid-fuel Long March-11 rocket completed its maiden mission by carrying four micro-satellites into orbit. The rocket took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern Chinese province of Gansu at 9:41 am local time.

    Of the four micro-satellites, the Pujiang-1, developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, is the first Chinese satellite to adopt 3D printing technology.

  14. #44
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    China's advances with scramjet engines will help with their future plans in space rockets development.

    http://www.popsci.com/chinese-hypers...pes-speed-race

    Professor Wang Zhengou of the National Defense Science and Technology University, China has a critical piece of technology not just to get into space, but also into the global hypersonic arms race.

    Scramjet engines mix together air and liquid fuel at supersonic speeds, to result in the rapid combustion that propels aircraft and missiles at hypersonic speeds over Mach 5. In September 2015, Professor Wang received an award from the Chinese Society for Aeronautics and Astronautics (CSAA) for the successful development of China's first scramjet engine over the past decade. In fact, Professor Wang took the top billing at the 2nd China Aeronautical Science and Technology Conference (CASTC2015) Feng Ru Aviaion Science & Technology Elite Awards (Feng Ru was an early 20th century Chinese aviation pioneer). CSAA took pains to mention that the kerosene-powered scramjet engine has successfully conducted flight tests, which makes China the second nation in the world, after the American X-43 and X-51 test vehicles, to develop a working scramjet engine for sustained atmospheric hypersonic flight.

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    Oh no--this cut eat into funds that could go to pure rocket advances.

  16. #46
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    There is no smoke without a fire. Now we have rumors of a Chinese next generation crew module emerging. This is no surprise as the Russians are also busy working on theirs and the US has Orion.

    http://www.parabolicarc.com/2015/10/...pace-missions/

    China is eyeing a next-generation human space transportation system to carry taikonauts to future space stations and to conduct missions to the moon, Mars and asteroids, according to a report on a Chinese space blog.

    A feasibility study proposes a conical spacecraft similar to the American Orion and Apollo capsules capable of carrying between two and six crew members. The capsule would be attached to service modules of different sizes similar to the ones used for Apollo missions.

    The baseline spacecraft would weigh 14 tons, with a 20 metric ton version featuring a longer service module. The vehicles would be used to support near-Earth, asteroid, lunar and Mars missions. The study eyes reusing the return capsules.

  17. #47
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    The review in "The Space Review" on a book 'When China Goes to the Moon…" by by Marco Aliberti, a resident fellow at the European Space Policy Institute disappointed me in many areas.

    The first one is he sees China and I quote "Aliberti is skeptical that China will make any mention of it in the next Five-Year Plan, covering the years 2016 to 2020. Instead, it may be deferred to the 2021–2025 or even the 2026–2030 plans, given China’s plans to develop a permanent space station by the early 2020s."

    By the end of this five year plan they will be doing the last item on their agenda. Completing their space station. They would have done the sample return in 2017 and even done a mission, Cheng'e 4, to the Luna south pole in 2019. He see China having no new plans beyond that???? I having been looking forward to their space plan ( to be released by the latest March next year) for their next steps in space. Not in detail but a broad outline, like what they have now - a three step process.

    Even on budgets, he gives the space program $3.5 billion in 2013 but forgets to mention that the dollar goes further in China then it does in the US. Reason why there is a big gap between China and the US in GDP using US$$ ( US11 trillion for China to US18 trillion for the US) But using Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) GDP China is ahead of the US.

    There is mention of the fact that china has not had a manned space flight since Shenzhou 10 in June 2013. The article I posted in #46 gives me hope that is because they have been busy developing their next generation crew module. Exactly what they will need for missions to the moon.

    No talk of their new capabilities that will be introduced next year and how that will lay the foundation for their future space plans.

    Next year will be when most of the speculation will either be confirmed or laid to rest.

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2840/1

    If Chinese officials do attend this year’s IAC, they’ll likely be asked questions about the country’s long-term plans for human lunar exploration. That’s the focus of the book When China Goes to the Moon… by Marco Aliberti, a resident fellow at the European Space Policy Institute. The title is a reference of the seeming inevitability of a Chinese human lunar landing—even if the details about how and when it will take place are uncertain—and its implications for international cooperation, particularly with Europe.

    The book is a good review of what’s known about China’s space program, but also a reminder of how, in many cases, how little is known outside the Chinese government about its plans and intentions. The early chapters examine the structure of Chinese space efforts and plans for lunar exploration in detail. But some of those basic details, like the annual budget, remain unknown. Aliberti nonetheless offers up an annual budget for China’s space program—$3.5 billion in 2013—based on the average percentage of GDP spent by other nations on their space programs, without any knowledge of whether that percentage is applicable to China. A later chart then breaks down that spending among various projects, like human spaceflight, to the level of hundredths of a percent of the overall budget, a precision unwarranted given the basic uncertainty about overall spending.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2015-Oct-13 at 05:16 AM.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    There is no smoke without a fire. Now we have rumors of a Chinese next generation crew module emerging. This is no surprise as the Russians are also busy working on theirs and the US has Orion.
    More details are emerging on China's Shenzhou's replacement. While it is still at the conceptual stage, we it least get some idea of what the Chinese scientist are thinking.

    http://www.popsci.com/what-will-next...study-explores

    While the actual successor to the Shenzhou could look very different from the concepts in this feasibility studies, China is clearly planning to continue its manned space program well into the future. The modular and cost effective characteristics of this proposed space ship suggests that in addition to looking for more frequent, cheaper space missions, China also has its eyes on leaving terrestrial orbit. With increased crew slots on each spaceship, China could even start training and flying foreign taikonauts as part of a space diplomacy, a new branch in China's soft power outreach.

  19. #49
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    Mentions of DAMPE, SJ-10 and HXMT satellites as part of a series of four scientific satellites to launch in 2015/16. Words come from Wu Ji at an event to mark the 10th anniversary of cooperation between China's Double Star space mission and the European Space Agency's (ESA) Cluster mission.

    China's scientific satellites to enter uncharted territory (Xinhua)
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20..._134770931.htm

  20. #50
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    Interested in Chinese space news. One good place to go is the Go_Taikonauts web page. Every quarter they come out with a news letter. The last one has a gold mine of information. The news letter is in a pdf file and is 37 pages long.

    To read it, go to the Go_Taikonauts pdf file.

    Highlights in this issue are -
    • CZ-6, CZ-11 made debuts - new generation launchers arrive after a long wait.
    • First dual-sat Beidou launch successful, two MEO satellites in orbit.
    • CZ-5, CZ-7 wound up major ground testing.
    • Chinese micro satellites made a giant leap, thanks to the CZ-6, CZ-1 1 launches.
    • Chang’e 5-T1 continues working and producing maps for the sample return mission.
    • Yutu continues to send signals.
    • China establishes space nuclear propulsion laboratory.
    • U.S. and China held the first Civil Space Dialogue.
    • NanoRacks to fly the first Chinese experiment on the ISS.
    • China interested in purchasing the RD-180 engine from Russia.

    Also there are discussions about European - China space cooperation.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2015-Nov-05 at 11:44 AM.

  21. #51
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    Wow how much resources does China have. This year they introduced 3 new space crafts - Yuanzheng-1, Long March 6 and Long March 11. Next year they have announced plans to introduce 4 new crafts - Long March 7, Long March 5, Tiangong-2 and Tianzhou-1. Then now they announce another craft they will be introducing next year - Kuaizhou-11, or Fast Vessel-11 ( see article below.

    I am keeping my China new development table updated for those that want to follow it.

    http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Ne..._2016_999.html

    China is preparing to launch a new-generation quick-response rocket in 2016 to seize more of the international commercial launch market, industry insiders said.

    The Kuaizhou-11, or Fast Vessel-11, is being developed by the Fourth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp, a major supplier of missiles to the People's Liberation Army. Its first launch is planned for late 2016 or early 2017, said Zhang Di, head of the company's space projects department, at the First China Commercial Launch Forum in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Friday.

    Zhang said the solid-fuel rocket will be able to place a 1-metric-ton payload into a sun-synchronous orbit at an altitude of 700 kilometers. Prelaunch preparations will take very little time, and the launch can be conducted on rough terrain.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2015-Nov-12 at 08:07 AM.

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    More details are emerging on China's Shenzhou's replacement. While it is still at the conceptual stage, we it least get some idea of what the Chinese scientist are thinking.

    http://www.popsci.com/what-will-next...study-explores
    We have been getting reports of the replacement the last few months. The latest article on it really surprised me. It says the information on the replacement was published in the January 2014 issue (Vol.35) of Chinese Journal of Aeronautics by the Institution of Manned Spacecraft System Engineering (IMSSE), a R&D centre of China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) and the designer of the Shenzhou vehicle. The paper’s authors include a number of senior IMSSE staff such as Yang Lei (IMSSE chief engineer), Zhang Bainan (IMSSE director) and Huang Zhen (IMSSE vice director).

    That is almost two years ago! !!!

    http://sinodefence.com/2015/12/15/ch...-crew-vehicle/

    As China continues to progress towards the construction of a manned space station in the LEO around 2020, the Chinese space industry is now working on the concept of a next-generation multipurpose crewed spacecraft vehicle, which can transport crew or cargo to the Moon, Lagrange Points, Near Earth Asteroids and Mars.

    According to a research paper titled “Concept Definition of New-Generation Multi-Purpose Manned Spacecraft”, the future Chinese multi-purpose crew vehicle will be a capsule-type spacecraft, capable of carrying 2 to 6 crew members to Earth orbit and beyond. The spacecraft will be built in two versions: a 14-tonne version for LEO, Near Earth Asteroid and Mars missions, and a 20-tonne version for lunar landing missions. The two versions will be based on the same crew module design, but feature different propulsion systems to meet different mission requirements.

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  23. #53
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    The article gives a description of China’s human space capsule currently in use as well as a brief history.

    http://sinodefence.com/2015/08/22/ch...ry-4-shenzhou/

    Phase-I of Project 921 was focused on the development and testing of a crew-carrying spacecraft vehicle named Shenzhou (‘Devine Vessel’). Launched atop the man-rated Chang Zheng-2F (CZ-2F) launch rocket, the Shenzhou vehicle was designed to carry up to three astronauts to fly in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), either in a solo flight or to ferry the crew to and from the space station. The spacecraft is not reusable, with a new vehicle built for each flight mission.

    The Shenzhou spacecraft resembles the Russian Soyuz-TM, though slightly larger in size and has been developed largely from Chinese technology. Like the Soyuz-TM, Shenzhou consists of a forward orbital module, a re-entry module, and an aft service module. It is believed that the Shenzhou development has benefited from some Russian assistance and consultation, especially around the life support system, the rendezvous docking system, and the re-entry capsule.

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  24. #54
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    A 29 minute video of China's space plans for the future in English. Not much in it we do not know already. It has been made because most reports in the western press has had a military bias on the Chinese space program.

    http://english.cntv.cn/2015/12/27/VI...37150662.shtml

  25. #55
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    China's new manned spacecraft looks very much like the latest models from the US (Orion, SpaceX Dragon and Boeing). Come to think of it, the proposed new Russian manned spacecraft also looks like the US designs. Does that mean that they copied/stolen the US designs!!!
    Turns out there is a more fundamental reason for it. The laws of physics .

    http://www.popsci.com/why-are-all-ne...-like-gumdrops

    China recently unveiled drawings of the capsule it plans to use to carry humans and cargo into space in the 2020s, and the design looks strikingly familiar. With a flat top, sloping sides, and a wide bottom, all of the crew capsules in development today look like candy gumdrops. Where does this shape come from?

    You might recognize it from the vehicle that brought the Apollo astronauts home. With few exceptions, human spaceflight hasn't changed much since those days. The Soyuz capsule uses a similar shape today, and SpaceX, Boeing, and NASA are all designing brand new spacecraft with almost the exact same design.

    All of these vehicles are similar because of three competing variables that spacecraft designers have to contend with: weight, space, and heat.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Any news on CZ-9 what with the economic downturn? Russia nixed its superheavy in favor or modest Angara development.

    That having been said, they are looking into wings again:
    http://sputniknews.com/russia/201508...et-system.html

    Germany has an all rocket system http://nextbigfuture.com/2015/08/ger...cc88eddb94ad71
    China now has released some news on the Long March 9. The date has slipped a year to 2030 for 1st launch. Good news is the article does say, where the LM 9 can do a manned trip with one launch, the LM 5 will require 4 launches.

    http://english.cntv.cn/2016/01/11/AR...al160111.shtml

    The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology has begun preliminary research on the Long March 9. The work has been approved by the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense, which is in charge of the nation's space programs.

    According to sources at the academy, it plans to take up to five years to design and develop a liquid oxygen/kerosene engine with 460 metric tons of thrust and a oxygen/liquid hydrogen engine with 220 tons of thrust.

    The rocket will have a launch weight of 3,000 tons and is scheduled to make its maiden flight around 2030, the sources said, adding that it will play a key role in helping to land astronauts on the moon.

    The Long March 9's technical specifications have still to be disclosed.

    But Li Tongyu, head of aerospace products at the academy, said its diameter and height will be much greater than those of the Long March 5, which is undergoing final tests and will make its first flight soon. The Long March 9's thrust will also be much stronger, Li said.

    "Our current launch vehicles, including the Long March 5, will be able to undertake the country's space activities planned for the next 10 years, but they will not have the capacity to carry out the nation's long-term space programs," according to Li.

    Li Jinghong, deputy chief designer of the Long March 3A at the academy, cited technical estimates stating that the Long March 5 will require four launches before fulfilling a manned mission to the moon, while the Long March 9 will need only one.

  27. #57
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    Chang'e 4 probe will now launch one year earlier (2018) then previously mentioned.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20..._135010577.htm

    China has officially begun a new round of lunar exploration and will send the Chang'e-4 probe to the far side of the moon in 2018, China's State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (SASTIND) announced Thursday.

    The far side of the moon is never visible to Earth because of gravitational forces and has never been explored by humans. Chang'e-4 will be the first mission in human history to embark on this expedition, said Liu Jizhong, chief of the lunar exploration center under SASTIND.

  28. #58
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    I started my look ahead to 2016 with the statement "I do see China and India stepping up their efforts"

    India has not disappointed us and tomorrow it will be launching a PSLV. This is the fastest turnaround between launches ISRO has ever achieved. That is not the end, they plan to launch again in February and again in March.

    But it is China that will be the STAR of the year. I am not the only saying it as Leonard David has this to say -

    http://www.leonarddavid.com/chinas-2...lans-detailed/

    China is pushing the throttle forward in its 2016 space exploits, an agenda that includes a piloted space mission and the maiden flights of two new boosters.

    According to state-run news agencies, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation has spotlighted plans to launch this year the Tiangong 2 space laboratory and the Shenzhou 11 crewed spacecraft and to test-fly the Long March 5 and Long March 7 rockets.

    In a statement on the company’s website: “This year will see more than 20 space launches, the most missions in a single year.”

  29. #59
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    Yes, you are the only one saying China will be the star of the year. It is in China's interest to continue developing its space expertise and it is indeed pushing the throttle forward as the author states. China's exploits are regardless still in catch-up mode.

    NASA is the elephant in space in just about every measurable way. Its strategic investments are nurturing a burgeoning American space industry. China and India are sleepers at best to be caught up in a decade or two.

    I hope China and others do develop their space programs quickly because we should all wish for a heated space race. lol.

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7cscb View Post
    Yes, you are the only one saying China will be the star of the year. It is in China's interest to continue developing its space expertise and it is indeed pushing the throttle forward as the author states. China's exploits are regardless still in catch-up mode.

    NASA is the elephant in space in just about every measurable way. Its strategic investments are nurturing a burgeoning American space industry. China and India are sleepers at best to be caught up in a decade or two.

    I hope China and others do develop their space programs quickly because we should all wish for a heated space race. lol.
    I agree with you that the US is the elephant in the room as far as overall space exploration is concerned. Where I might disagree is if you focus on the moon. Other then 40 years ago, the US has spent very little on the moon. China on the other hand is very focused on moon exploration. Other than manned landing on the moon, China will have exceeded what the US has done on the moon by the end of 2018 when they plan to have a rover on the far side of the moon. I am hoping the next 5 year plan from China will give us a clue on manned moon exploration.

    India as you say is much further behind but they do have a plan for a rover on the moon next year. There is also two other missions planned for the moon.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2016-Jan-19 at 04:29 AM.

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