China Exhibits Models of Future Manned Lunar Landing Spacecraft (Video)

China has proudly showcased its ongoing progress in moon mission technology, including models of new rockets and spacecraft, at an exhibition in Shanghai. The “Exhibition of Achievements in China Manned Space Program”, which opened at the New International Expo Center, features the Long March 10 rocket, a lunar lander spacecraft, and a next-generation crew spacecraft.

The Long March 10 is an upgrade of China’s existing Long March 5 rocket, inheriting technology from the latter. Accompanying it is a crew spacecraft that utilises elements from the Shenzhou spacecraft, currently in operation to transport astronauts to China’s Tiangong space station. China’s lunar exploration program has already seen three successful robotic lunar landings through the Chang’e 3, 4, and 5 missions.

As per China’s moon landing plan, two Long March 10 rockets will be launched. While one will carry the lunar lander, the other will transport the crew spacecraft. The two will rendezvous and dock in lunar orbit, after which a pair of astronauts will move to the lander and descend to the lunar surface. The astronauts will engage in numerous scientific activities and collect moon samples during their stay, expected to last about six hours.

Chief Designer of Space Stations at Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST), Fan Ping, highlighted that the development of the lunar lander and the new spacecraft continues to leverage previous technologies. He also revealed plans for an accelerated assessment and development of a manned lunar rover.

China has declared its ambition to land humans on the moon by 2030. Following this achievement, a lunar research station may be established for further scientific experiments.

In addition to these plans, China is also seeking partners for a collaborative project, the International Lunar Research Station. The country, in conjunction with Russia and other potential partners, plans to start building the lunar outpost after the scheduled launch of Chang’e 7 and 8 missions around 2026 and 208. This lunar station would facilitate international cooperation in lunar exploration and potentially pave the way for future manned missions to Mars and beyond.

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