CHINA has revealed plans to build a base on the Moon and collect samples from Mars.
The space race between China and the rest of the world is intensifying as the nation recently detailed its aeronautical ambitions.
Em março 4, China held its fifth session of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in Beijing.
At the event, Wu Weiren, a senior scientist with the China National Space Administration, shared the nation’s long-term and short-term plans for space exploration.
Bringing back samples from Mars – a feat that both Nasa and the ESA hope to achieve – seems to be one of the more important goals for China.
The plan, as outlined by Weiren, would comprise landing a capsule on the Red Planet that would first collect the samples.
The capsule would come equipped with an ascent vehicle (or a small rocket) that would fly the samples to an orbiter.
The orbiter would then ferry the collection back to Earth.
“The spacecraft for a sample-return mission to the Red Planet will be much heavier than lunar probes as it will carry a greater amount of fuel to fly a very long distance. Portanto, we need to build a powerful carrier rocket to transport the spacecraft,” Weiren said.
Other huge aeronautical ambitions for China include sending a crewed mission to the Moon and building a lunar base for further exploration.
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China’s major rocket manufacturer, the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology in Beijing, has hinted that its engineers are currently building a super-heavy rocket named the Long March 9.
This rocket, experts believe, would be used for potential crewed missions to the Moon, as well as other deep-space missions in the future.
“In the long run, we want to send spacecraft to explore the rim of our solar system, which is about 15 billion kilometers from us, antes 2049, the year to mark the centenary of the People’s Republic of China,” Weiren said.
Scientists have further suggested the nation is currently developing its own space station.
“When our space station is completed and running, we will actively encourage the private sector to engage in space through various ways,” Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China’s human spaceflight program, recently told China Central Television March 9, por SpaceNews.
enquanto isso, em fevereiro, the Chinese State Council revealed in a white paper that it was launching its own space telescope.
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The telescope, which is currently under development, is called Xuntian, or the Chinese Space Station Telescope (CSST).
CSST is expected to possess a 2 meter (6.6 Paige Van Zant) diameter primary mirror, as well as a field of view 300 times larger than NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.