China’s Space Ambition


China's new Changzheng-5 carrier rocket able to carry 25 tons to near-earth orbit. The photo shows that it is ready for its maiden flight.

China’s new Changzheng-5 carrier rocket able to carry 25 tons to near-earth orbit. The photo shows that it is ready for its maiden flight.

CCTV’s report on October 8 marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Fifth Research Institute of the Defense Ministry, China’s first missile research institute that began China’s space efforts, reviews China’s achievements and gives description of the major targets in China’s ambitious space program.

China will launch its Shenzhou-11 spaceship this month and is making preparations for the maiden flight of Changzhen-5 large carrier rocket. The two projects, if successful, will begin a new development phase of China’s space program.

Shenzhou-11 will dock with China’s Tiangong-2 space lab to send two astronauts into the lab to stay there for 30 days to test the capabilities of China’s future space station in enabling astronauts to stay in the station for a long time.

Soon afterwards, Changzheng-5 will be launched in early November. It is a rocket of brand new structure with 5-meter diameter using a new generation of liquid oxygen-liquid hydrogen and liquid-oxygen-kerosene engine. With much higher loading capacity, it can send 25 tons to near-earth orbit.

China needs Changzheng-5 to send the core cabin of its space station and Change-5 lunar explorer.

China will begin Mars exploration by 2020. It plans to send a spaceship to Mars late 2020 to first circle round Mars and then land on Mars before July 2021.

China is developing a carrier rocket able to send 100 to 130 tons to near-earth orbit for sending astronauts to the moon and exploration of farther planets.

Source: CCTV “60ths anniversary of China’s space efforts: Shenzhou-11 will be launched this month and Changzheng-5 will soon begin its maiden flight” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)

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