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Thread: China's future space plans

  1. #61
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    China is putting in some resources to investigate how astronauts can cope with a long journey to Mars.

    http://www.leonarddavid.com/chinese-...olation-study/

    A crew of Chinese volunteers will take part in a 180-day isolation study to mimic a human mission to Mars.

    According to a January 21 report by the state-run People’s Daily, the four volunteers will be confined within a space capsule consisting of six giant “boxes” constructed by China’s Southern Research Institute of Space Technology.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    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.
    Emphasis mine.

    How do you figure that? Both countries have made 4 launches to the Moon, since 2007. China has Chang'e 1, Chang'e 2, Chang'e 3/Yutu, and Chang'e 5-T1. NASA has the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS, ARTEMIS, GRAIL, and LADEE. Plus in the 1990s, NASA had Clementine and the Lunar Prospector.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by spjung View Post
    Emphasis mine.

    How do you figure that? Both countries have made 4 launches to the Moon, since 2007. China has Chang'e 1, Chang'e 2, Chang'e 3/Yutu, and Chang'e 5-T1. NASA has the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter/LCROSS, ARTEMIS, GRAIL, and LADEE. Plus in the 1990s, NASA had Clementine and the Lunar Prospector.
    You are right. I should have said since NASA's Constellation program was cancelled.

    My point still stands. NASA has virtually no plans for the moon. China has a three step process to explore the moon. Chang'e 1 and Chang'e 2 were the first step. Chang'e 3 was the 2nd step. The last step is Chang'e 5-T1 and next years Cheng'e 5 sample return mission. This will complete what their objectives that were in their current 5 year plan.

    They next 5 year plan has not yet been published. But they have already stated the Chang'e 4 mission (planned for 2018), to the far side of the moon is the start of their next phase of moon exploration.

    Quote from it "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"
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2016-Jan-26 at 12:38 AM.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    My point still stands. NASA has virtually no plans for the moon. China has a three step process to explore the moon. Chang'e 1 and Chang'e 2 were the first step. Chang'e 3 was the 2nd step. The last step is Chang'e 5-T1 and next years Cheng'e 5 sample return mission. This will complete what their objectives that were in their current 5 year plan.
    That's fair. The only future NASA missions I see on Wikipedia that mention the moon are the Orion module test flights that will pass or orbit the moon.

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by spjung View Post
    That's fair. The only future NASA missions I see on Wikipedia that mention the moon are the Orion module test flights that will pass or orbit the moon.
    You missed out the Cubesats that the SLS-1/EM-1 mission will carry. They will survey the moon for water. I suppose you could say that is associated with the Orion test flight.

  6. #66
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    You missed out the Cubesats that the SLS-1/EM-1 mission will carry. They will survey the moon for water. I suppose you could say that is associated with the Orion test flight.
    I've looked at that mission (after the link you posted in the "civilization" thread) - there are 11 CubeSats. The "Flashlight" mission is really designed to seek the water ice. What about the other? The main goal of this mission (EM-1) is actually to check the Orion capsule - they just fill the "empty space" with those CubeSats (as I wrote there). By the way I may show you a page, where it is presented how they produced a CubeSat in Ukraine (Kiyev). You can't read it, but there are very good pictures, showing the sequence of the satellite construction and test: http://geektimes.ru/post/230347/

    But talking about China (subject of this thread). I've also read today a report about China's acceleration of the Moon exploration. Alas, they didn't refer to the source, so I'm curious about the reliability of the information. They are mentioning Chang'e 4 (mission is planed to launch in 2018 instead of 2020). It should be the first landing on the "opposite" side of the Moon. They refer to this organization, but I see no reports on the matter there:

    http://english.gov.cn/state_council/...4992893468.htm

    They also mention the discoveries made by the previous mission - Chang'e 3 for 2 years. I wonder - what are those discoveries?

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbovski View Post
    I've looked at that mission (after the link you posted in the "civilization" thread) - there are 11 CubeSats. The "Flashlight" mission is really designed to seek the water ice. What about the other? The main goal of this mission (EM-1) is actually to check the Orion capsule - they just fill the "empty space" with those CubeSats (as I wrote there). By the way I may show you a page, where it is presented how they produced a CubeSat in Ukraine (Kiyev). You can't read it, but there are very good pictures, showing the sequence of the satellite construction and test: http://geektimes.ru/post/230347/

    But talking about China (subject of this thread). I've also read today a report about China's acceleration of the Moon exploration. Alas, they didn't refer to the source, so I'm curious about the reliability of the information. They are mentioning Chang'e 4 (mission is planed to launch in 2018 instead of 2020). It should be the first landing on the "opposite" side of the Moon. They refer to this organization, but I see no reports on the matter there:

    http://english.gov.cn/state_council/...4992893468.htm

    They also mention the discoveries made by the previous mission - Chang'e 3 for 2 years. I wonder - what are those discoveries?
    I am not certain that they have firmed which CubeSats they will taking in the mission. They are still in the identification stage according to this report. The pictures were nice, Takes me back ti my university days when I was trying to build a receiver to get weather reports - unsuccessfully I might add .

    I have highlighted the China information - see here and here.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2016-Jan-29 at 12:20 AM.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbovski View Post
    I've looked at that mission (after the link you posted in the "civilization" thread) - there are 11 CubeSats. The "Flashlight" mission is really designed to seek the water ice. What about the other? The main goal of this mission (EM-1) is actually to check the Orion capsule - they just fill the "empty space" with those CubeSats (as I wrote there). By the way I may show you a page, where it is presented how they produced a CubeSat in Ukraine (Kiyev). You can't read it, but there are very good pictures, showing the sequence of the satellite construction and test: http://geektimes.ru/post/230347/
    You have to have some patience for the answers. At least till the 2nd of February. (I should really put it in the SLS thread but as you asked... Will do when they they do the actual announcement.)

    http://spacefan.org/nasa-to-announce...launch-system/

    NASA Television will air the announcement of the selection of a fleet of small satellites to launch on the inaugural flight of the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS). The event, which is at 11 a.m. EST (10 a.m. CST) Tuesday, Feb. 2, from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will announce the CubeSats that will fly as secondary payloads and deploy to conduct science and technology demonstrations in deep space.

  9. #69
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    Don't worry, I am patient. Just give me a link when there's something interesting. I see that China managed to launch 8 missions with the Long March 3B in 6 months! It is a good capacity! Were there any missions connected to the Moon for the second half of 2015?

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbovski View Post
    Don't worry, I am patient. Just give me a link when there's something interesting. I see that China managed to launch 8 missions with the Long March 3B in 6 months! It is a good capacity! Were there any missions connected to the Moon for the second half of 2015?
    Last moon mission was Chang'e 5-T1 launched on 23 October 2014. Next two missions will be 2nd half of next year associated with the sample return and the the next one will be in 2018 to the far side of the moon.

  11. #71
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    So all 2015 launches are not connected with the conquering of the Moon... It looks like the Moon is not the priority for China

    During the "Apollo" project they were launching up to 4 Saturn V per year!
    Last edited by Gorbovski; 2016-Jan-29 at 05:36 PM.

  12. #72
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    Ah, here's one discovery made by Chang'e 3 http://www.latimes.com/science/scien...222-story.html

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbovski View Post
    Ah, here's one discovery made by Chang'e 3 http://www.latimes.com/science/scien...222-story.html
    A very good example of what China has done and will do more of in the future. The next mission to the moon will be the sample return next year and in 2018 we have a lander and rover mission to the far side of the moon. Results of both missions are waited with excitement by Luna scientist as it will be covering new ground.

    Both China's and India's space priority's are not space exploration but how to use space to benefit their population here on earth. So it has been concentration on the earth sciences to help their farmers, fishermen, weather, security, etc. It is only recently (last 10 years) that they have started to look beyond earth. We are now starting to enjoy the results of some of their work now. The above article highlights something new that the Chinese found about the moon. India's 1st mission to the moon discovered water (before that it was thought to be completely dry).

    The 3 Asian nations (China, India and Japan) are now devoting some of their space budgets to the exploration of outer space. So expect to see more results from their contributions in the coming tears.

  14. #74
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    China has made major advancements in building ion thruster for rockets. It says it has built one that is 30% more powerful than any currently in use.

    http://www.scmp.com/tech/science-res...w-ion-thruster

    This kind of thruster has been around for decades, however. In the interim, scientists and engineers have worked to tweak them in search of marked improvements.

    Since the former Soviet Union first put to use back in 1971, over 240 have been sent into space. They are typically found on communications satellites in high-altitude orbits for long-term service. The most powerful ones in operation today can accelerate to 30 kilometres per second at their maximum thrust.

    But Mao Wei, chief designer of China’s Hall thruster, told the daily that the latest version will beat the current performance record of this kind of thruster by as much as 30 per cent.

  15. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbovski View Post
    Don't worry, I am patient. Just give me a link when there's something interesting. I see that China managed to launch 8 missions with the Long March 3B in 6 months! It is a good capacity! Were there any missions connected to the Moon for the second half of 2015?
    NASA has announced the CubeSats that will be flying on the EM-1 mission.

  16. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    I am not subscribed to the current thread, so I saw it accidentally. But I saw that information on the CubeSats. They are not Chinese, are they?

    By the way, when and on what missing they are going to check that electric engine? Electric engines may be very useful for the inter-orbital flights when the time is not important.
    Last edited by Gorbovski; 2016-Feb-03 at 06:13 PM.

  17. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gorbovski View Post
    I am not subscribed to the current thread, so I saw it accidentally. But I saw that information on the CubeSats. They are not Chinese, are they?

    By the way, when and on what missing they are going to check that electric engine? Electric engines may be very useful for the inter-orbital flights when the time is not important.
    If you had clicked on the link I provided, It would have taken you to the SLS thread. The CubeSats are American.

    No news on which missions the Chinese will use the electric engines.

  18. #78
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    China is pushing a very ambitious plan to set up it's Beidou navigation system ( equivalent to GPS). They plan to launch another 40 in the next 5 years to provide worldwide coverage.

    They only require 35 for their world wide coverage. This means the current satellites will all be replaced by the new generation satellites and they will have 5 for spare. The other interpretation is the reporter has the number mixed up and the 40 represents the total they will have launched (includes the current satellites). Another explanation could be for areas they need greater accuracy, the concentration of satellites is bigger.

    http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/967278.shtml

    China plans to launch nearly 40 Beidou navigation satellites in the next five years to support its global navigation and positioning network, a spokesperson said Wednesday.

    By the end of 2018, another 18 satellites will be put into orbit for Beidou's navigation service, said Ran Chengqi, spokesperson of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System and also director of the China Satellite Navigation Office.

    Ran said the positioning accuracy of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System inside China has reached five meters, with the improvement of a software algorithm and other technology development.

    According to earlier reports, China planned to set up a complete Beidou system consisting of 35 satellites by 2020, which provided global coverage with positioning accuracy of less than 10 meters and timing accuracy of 20 nanoseconds.

  19. #79
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    This is an article from March 2015 and it proposes the next phase of China's ambitious plans for space exploration.

    http://gbtimes.com/china/china-devel...eroid-missions

    The plans noted by Mr Ye are just two of a number of plans found in a paper which outlines an ambitious agenda for exploration. ‘China’s Deep-space Exploration to 2030’, authored by Ouyang Ziyuan among others, outlines three stages of missions.

    The first phase notes a Mars orbiter and rover, Near-Earth asteroid missions and a solar observatory. The second stage of missions include further Mars missions, a Venus orbiter and an intriguing sample return to the asteroid Ceres, which is currently being visited by NASA’s Dawn probe. The final stage would involve sending an orbiter to Jupiter and a Mars sample return.

    All of these are awaiting official approval, but Ye is positive. "I hope [these plans] win the support of the people of China, and things kick off as soon as possible," the scientist told Xinhua, who is in Beijing for the annual session of China's top political advisory body.

    “[I] hope that in the next few years we can selectively conduct exploration of some planets, including Mars and Jupiter”.

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    An interview with Prof. Yang Yuguang from China Aerospace Science & Industry Corporation, on China's busy space schedule this year. It covers the LM 7 and LM 5, the China Space Lab, Tiangong-2, and the cargo ship Tianzhou-1. Also in the interview is the manned missions in 2016 and what they hope to achieve. In the concluding potions he gives his view on how China ranks with the other space powers.

    The audio interview is about 25 minutes long.

    http://english.cri.cn/7146/2016/02/06/3621s916163.htm

  21. #81
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    China outlines its long-term vision for space science. There is a lot more weight being put into pure science research in these future space activities.

    http://gbtimes.com/china/china-outli...-space-science

    China has emerged as a major player in space over the last decade or so, most notably for its human spaceflight endeavours and robotic exploration of the Moon. Despite having developed a range of advanced space capabilities and technologies, space science has been low down on the country’s agenda. But that is now changing.

    In December China launched a probe to begin a timely hunt for dark matter, which will be followed this year by three more space science missions focussing on quantum entanglement and photon ‘teleportation’, x-ray astronomy, and space life science.

    Before this China’s only space science missions were the Double Star programme with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Yinghuo-1 Mars probe aboard Russia’s Phobos-Grunt mission, which was terminated when the rocket failed to leave Earth orbit.

    But China is entering a new era in which it aims to play a key role in areas including astronomy, space physics, fundamental physics and earth science.

  22. #82
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    There is one more research being done that is not covered in the article above, that is their gravitational wave research plan "Taiji". More information here.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2016-Feb-18 at 02:23 AM.

  23. #83
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    SJ-10 project that I mentioned in post #28 and here is now confirmed to be launched in April.

    http://gbtimes.com/china/china-launc...ce-probe-april

    China will soon launch its retrievable Shijian-10 satellite to carry out research in microgravity and space life science to provide scientific support for the country’s human space missions.

    On Wednesday the Shijian-10 spacecraft was delivered to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Gansu Province in the Gobi Desert, where it will undergo tests and be stacked on a Long March 2D rocket for launch in April.

    As part of a growing program of space science research, Shijian-10 is China's first microgravity experimental satellite and will spend 15 days in space before returning to Earth with results for analysis.

  24. #84
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    This report by CNBC gives a good overview of China's future plans. Unfortunately it is tainted with a lot of negative slant on how their progress in space capabilities will improve their military abilities. (note that is true of any country that advances their space technology).

    http://www.nbcnews.com/tech/innovati...y-ploy-n520916

    Among the 20-plus launches scheduled for this year are maiden flights of China's Long March 7 and Long March 5 rockets, the latter being its heaviest and most technically sophisticated rocket to date.

    China will launch communications and Earth-imaging satellites into orbit for Argentina and Belarus (marking the first time China has exported a satellite to Europe) as well as several satellites of its own. At least two scientific satellites, two navigation satellites and three spacecraft to augment China's High-Resolution Earth Observation System are slated for launch before the end of the year.

    The most visible and most ambitious mission will launch in the second half of the year, when a Long March 2F rocket sends the Shenzhou XI spacecraft and its crew of three astronauts to dock with China's Tiangong 2 space laboratory, a habitable module that will launch into orbit separately sometime in the first half of the year.

    Tiangong 2, while not designed for long-term habitation, is an important steppingstone toward building a Chinese space station that can be inhabited long term, similar to Russia's Mir or the International Space Station.

    The Shenzhou XI mission will allow Chinese scientists to research technologies and identify potential engineering flaws or other issues before launching the core module of its permanent space station sometime later this decade. If the schedule holds, China hopes to have its very own space station online by 2022 — a space station that some security analysts worry could be used for military applications.

  25. #85
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    Andrew Jones does an excellent job in summerisring China's short term (in the next year and a half) plans. It contains one bit of news that has not been reported before. On top of the test LM7 flight will be a scaled-down version of a new Chinese re-entry capsule for human spaceflight.

    http://gbtimes.com/china/maiden-long...man-spacecraft

    New rockets that will enable China to build and service a space station and attempt interplanetary missions will soon be in action as the country steps up its space ambitions.

    The heavy lift Long March 5 will allow China to loft huge space station modules to low Earth orbit, send a craft to return samples from the Moon and launch its first independent Mars mission in 2020.

    The smaller Long March 7 is also crucial, having been designed to launch ‘Tianzhou’ cargo vessels to the future space station, which is expected to be completed around 2020.

    The Long March 7 will also become the workhorse launch vehicle of the Chinese space program, while both new kerosene and liquid oxygen-fuelled rockets will together eventually replace the highly toxic, aging earlier Long March rockets.

  26. #86
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    Although this report "China Dream, Space Dream" is 2 years old and made for the
    U.S.- China Economic and Security Review Commission, it does contain a lot of information about China's launch vehicles and satellites. The report is 148 pages long and you have to navigate through a maize to get the sort of information we would be looking for but it is worth it to understand where China is.

    http://origin.www.uscc.gov/sites/def...eam_Report.pdf

  27. #87
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    This is an interview with Bruce MacDonald, former Assistant Director for National Security, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, on "China’s Growing Space Capabilities".

    http://thecipherbrief.com/article/ch...e-capabilities

    The United States has enjoyed unchallenged dominance in the space domain for years, but it appears that time has come to an end. China has been increasing its space activities, which will have strategic consequences for the U.S. The Cipher Brief spoke with Bruce MacDonald, a former White House National Security Council official, about the military applications of China’s space program. He says that, while there is a definite competition in this arena, the conflicting interests between the two countries does not have to result in actual conflict.

  28. #88
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    China is investing heavily into pure science research. This is also true in their space missions.

    http://gbtimes.com/china/chinas-spac...e-budget-boost

    Scientists working on China’s space science program expect to receive funding of around 5.9 billion yuan (US$ 910m) across the period of the country’s new Five Year Plan (2016-2020).

    The cash will fund a range of missions outlined in a national roadmap for space science for 2016-2030 produced by China’s National Space Science Centre (NSSC).

    The missions were shortlisted after consultations with China’s science community, and will seek answers related to fundamental questions, such as the formation and evolution of the universe, exoplanets and potential extra-terrestrial life, and new physics beyond the current theories.

    The NSSC estimates that the country's overall research and development funding will maintain 2.5 percent annual growth between 2016 and 2030.

    "The funding means we are likely to launch 15 to 20 scientific satellites, if not more, by 2030," Dr Wu Ji, director-general of the NSSC told press.

  29. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEOWatcher View Post
    Nothing different there than this one you posted, except the tone of the article.
    Well we do have new news. It has been launched and more details in the attached article on the payloads.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/...rk-new-heights

    Microgravity researchers welcome China's growing interest. "They are improving a lot the level of their research," says Ricard González-Cinca, a physicist at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain, who is not involved in the mission.

    The scientific payload is a grab bag of experiments. It’s “a very interesting mission,” says NSSC Director General Wu Ji in Beijing. Two combustion experiments will test how materials used in spacecraft burn in space to find ways of making safer capsules for human spaceflight, for example, while another experiment will study crystal growth in semiconductor materials and alloys. Three experiments will investigate how radiation affects genetics, also partly to make future human spaceflight safer. Early mouse embryos will be watched to see whether they develop normally, for clues to whether humans or other mammals could reproduce in space.

  30. #90
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    Just like NASA, China is investing into 3D printing to use in space and they are making good progress.

    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/20...35294249_2.htm

    Researchers with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) have successfully developed the country's first space 3D printer.

    Scientists with both CAS's Chongqing Institute of Green and Intelligent Technology and the Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilization were behind the two-year-long project.

    Duan Xuanming, head of 3D printing research center under CAS's Chongqing Institute, said the printer has finished 93 zero gravity flying tests in France.

    The printer can produce bigger space parts than the one sent to the International Space Station by NASA late last month.

    The device could help China build a space station in 2020 and facilitate its operation and maintenance thereafter, said Duan.

    In-orbit 3D printing is effective in helping with space station repair and maintenance and is essential for future deep space exploration, Duan said.

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