November 30, 2022

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China and new missions in deep space between the Moon and Mars, gas giants and asteroids

there China It is trying to make up for lost time towards other international space agencies through a series of projects aimed at achieving bothEarth’s orbit but also the moonAnd the MarsI gas giants that they asteroids. These are different missions that will have ambitious goals, especially if we consider that one space agency will carry them out (CNSA).

We’re not just referring to the future station with solar panels to send power to Earth or to the completion of the Tiangong space station (which will take place by 2022). Not even the Chang’e-4 mission (with the Yutu-2 rover) is currently active on the far side of the Moon or Tianwen-1 (with the Zhurong rover) on Mars. The Asian country will launch several space probes and could exceed targets set by agencies such as the European Space Agency and NASA. Here’s what we know.

China and future space missions in deep space

On the moon there are several missions such as Chang’e-6 (launched in 2024), Chang’e-7 (launch in 2026) H Chang’e-8 (launch before 2030). Italy, the European Space Agency (Sweden) and Pakistan will also join the first group, which aims to return rock samples from the hidden side of the moon, to provide part of the instrumentation. The second will also integrate a roving vehicle called Rashid 2 made by the UAE, a vehicle made by the Chinese and finally a new device that will move on the surface. “jump” (hopper). There will also be associated landers and orbiters that will provide more data sets and support. also Chang’e-8 It will consist of an orbiter, lander, hopper and rover, all made by China and will lay the foundations for the future construction of the Lunar Research Base (ILRS), which will be operational from 2035.

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China deep space

Click on the image to enlarge

Tianwen-2 (The launch is expected around 2025 with a Long March 3B rocket) Instead, it will focus on trying to return some samples from the 2016 HO3 Kamo’oalewa asteroid, and once that mission is complete, it will head toward the comet belt for further analysis. . Another mission (starting in 2026 with a Long March 3B rocket) intended for asteroids will target 2020 PN1 and will be similar to NASA’s DART. There will be two probes, one of which will impact the celestial body while the other will monitor the outcome of the collision. So it would be a consortium of NASA DART and ESA HERA with one launch.

Tianwen -3 (Scheduled to launch in 2028) Instead it will be the mission that will return samples from Mars. If she succeeds in the expected time frame she can “get over” In time, it will return a Mars sample return mission which instead will only return samples in 2033.

China space

Possible design of two probes for gas giants (source)

there China She also has announce Gas giants missions. Tianwen -4 It will be a mission consisting of two very different probes (launch scheduled for 2030). One will use solar panels, similar in analogy with NASA Juno, and will explore them Jupiter and its satellite system (notably Callisto) while the second probe must use RTG and fly to Uranus.

Their path should also include passages close to Venus and the asteroid belt where more data must be collected. The probe will be launched aboard a Long March 5 rocket. Another mission, which does not have a specific name yet, should bring a probe near Neptune with a passage close to the asteroid belt and Jupiter. It could be launched after 2030. Looking into the year 2049, there will instead be a probe that will drift away as far as 80-100 astronomical units at the edge of the solar system. there China As mentioned that for Tianwen -3 And the Tianwen -4 It will also accept assistance from other foreign space agencies that wish to participate (being in Phase 0 of development).

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