China, Russia Hold International Lunar Research Station Seminar

China/Russia International Lunar Research Station seminar. (Credit: CNSA)

ZHUHAI, China (CNSA PR) — On September 27, 2021, a closed-door seminar on the International Lunar Research Station jointly sponsored by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and Roscosmos was held in Zhuhai. Experts from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Malaysia, Thailand, the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, ESA, and the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization conducted special seminars on the declaration of the International Lunar Research Station.

In March 2021, China and Russia signed the “Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Russian Federation on Cooperative Construction of International Lunar Research Stations.” At present, the declaration of the International Lunar Research Station jointly drafted by China and Russia clarifies the general principles, joining methods and activity guidelines for the construction of the International Lunar Research Station. 

The international consultation on the declaration of the International Lunar Research Station is the common expectation of the international community, and it is also an important part of the steady promotion of the cooperation process of the International Lunar Research Station between China and Russia.

The Declaration of the International Lunar Research Station will serve as an important document for follow-up cooperation. It is planned to be introduced to the international community at the 72nd International Astronautical Conference in Dubai, UAE in October 2021, and to further listen to the opinions and suggestions of the international community.

Chinese Zhurong Rover Marks 100 Days of Exploring Mars

Zhurong rover and its lander on the surface of Mars. (Credit: CNSA)

BEIJING (CNSA PR) — Zhurong, rover of China’s first interplanetary probe mission Tianwen-1, has worked on Mars surface for 100 days as of Monday, and has driven 1,064 meters south from its landing point.

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Russia Postpones Luna-25 Mission by Six Months to May 2022

Luna 25 undergoes acoustics tests. (Credit: RSC Energia/Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The launch of the Luna-25 automatic interplanetary station from the Vostochny Cosmodrome has been reconfirmed and is scheduled for the second possible launch window (the period when the spacecraft launched from the Earth, taking into account its design features and power-to-weight ratio, will optimally reach its destination along a given trajectory) in May 2022. 

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China’s Zhurong Mars Rover Continues Past 3 Month Nominal Mission

Zhurong rover and its lander on the surface of Mars. (Credit: CNSA)

BEIJING (China National Space Administration PR) — China’s Mars rover Zhurong has outlived its three-month life expectancy with all of its predetermined tasks completed, according to the China National Space Administration.

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Roscosmos Eyes Crewed Flights from French Guiana, Seeks Partners for Lunar Base with China

A Soyuz-2 launches the CSO-2 defense satellite on Dec. 29, 2020. (Credit: Arianespace)
  • Roscosmos head discussed launching cosmonauts from Kourou with French counterpart
  • Russian-Chinese lunar south pole base is rival to planned U.S. facility
  • Russia to begin design work on new Earth orbiting station by late summer

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Roscosmos is exploring the possibility of launching spacecraft from the Guiana Space Centre in South America that would carry cosmonauts to the new Chinese space station and a base that Russia and China plan to build at the lunar south pole, according to media reports. Russia is also beginning work on a new Earth orbiting space station.

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NASA, Roscosmos Congratulate China on Crewed Launch

Bill Nelson

NASA and Roscosmos sent congratulations to the China National Space Administration for its launch of three astronauts on Shenzhou-12 to the nation’s first permanent space station on Thursday.

NASA

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released the following statement Thursday regarding the China National Space Agency’s launch of the first crew to its Tiangong space station:

“Congratulations to China on the successful launch of crew to their space station! I look forward to the scientific discoveries to come.”

Roscosmos

Roscosmos sends sincere congratulations to China on the successful launch of three taikonauts on the Shenzhou 12 crewed spacecraft to the new Chinese Tianhe space station.

The Chinese space technologies are developing actively, and another success in China’s crewed space program is just a further proof to that!

China has made another confident step forward and together we can achieve even more! As was previously announced, together we will jointly develop the new International Lunar Research Station. Russia and China will become lasting and reliable partners in long-term colonization of near-Earth and outer space.

China Releases Photos of Zhurong Rover on Surface of Mars

Zhurong rover and its lander on the surface of Mars. (Credit: CNSA)

BEIJING (CNSA PR) — On June 11, at the unveiling ceremony of the first batch of scientific images of the Tianwen-1 rover landing on Mars in Beijing, the panoramic view of the landing site, the topography of Mars, the “Chinese imprint” and the photographs such as a group photo with a tour. The release of the first batch of scientific image maps marked the complete success of China’s first Mars exploration mission.

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Russia, China to Adapt Spacecraft to Fly on Each Other’s Super Heavy-lift Launchers

Ergonomic testing has been conducted for the new Orel spacecraft. (Credit: RSC Energia)

There was an interesting report from Interfax about Russia and China’s plans to explore the moon.

Roscosmos and the China National Space Administration (CNSA) have reached a verbal agreement to adapt their crewed spacecraft to each other’s super heavy-lift launch vehicles (LV), the Russian state space corporation’s Executive Director for Science Alexander Bloshenko told Interfax.

“We have already had a discussion on the possibility of adapting our super heavy-lift launch vehicle to their, Chinese, spacecraft and vice versa – their spacecraft to our super heavy-lift LV,” Bloshenko said.

In March, the two nations announced they would be collaborating on the construction of a crewed lunar base.

China is developing the Long March 9 booster, which is designed to place 140 metric tons into low Earth orbit (LEO) and 50 metric tons into Earth-moon transfer orbit. The maiden launch is scheduled for 2028.

Russia’s super-heavy Yenisei booster is designed to launch 103 to 140 metric tons to LEO. The maiden flight is also scheduled for 2028.

NASA Administrator Nelson Congratulates China on Mars Landing

Bill Nelson

WASHINGTON — NASA Administrator Sen. Bill Nelson issued the following statement Wednesday after the China National Space Administration’s release of the first photos from the Zhurong Mars rover:

“Congratulations to the China National Space Administration on receiving the first images from the Zhurong Mars rover!” Nelson said. “As the international scientific community of robotic explorers on Mars grows, the United States and the world look forward to the discoveries Zhurong will make to advance humanity’s knowledge of the Red Planet. I look forward to future international discoveries, which will help inform and develop the capabilities needed to land human boots on Mars.”

CNSA’s successful landing of the Zhurong rover last week makes it only the second nation to ever land successfully on Mars. Zhurong joins active NASA missions – the Curiosity and Perseverance rovers and Insight Lander – in exploring the surface of the Red Planet.

For more information on NASA and agency activities, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

China Launches Oceanography Satellite

Long March 4B launches the Haiyang 2D oceanography satellite.

JIUQUAN SATELLITE LAUNCH CENTER, China (CNSA PR) — At 12:03 on May 19, China used the Long March 4B carrier rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center to successfully launch the Haiyang 2D satellite. The satellite successfully entered the scheduled orbit, and the mission was a complete success. 

Haiyang 2D is the third operational satellite of the National Space Infrastructure Ocean Power Satellite series. It will form my country’s Ocean Power Environment Satellite Constellation with Haiyang 2B and Haiyang 2C, and is mainly used to observe sea surface wind fields. Information such as sea surface height, effective wave height, gravity field and ocean circulation will provide strong support for sea condition forecasting, storm warning, precipitation forecasting, surface analysis and global climate change research.

The National Space Administration is responsible for the organization and implementation of the Haiyang 2D satellite project; the China Academy of Space Technology and Shanghai Aerospace Technology Research Institute under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation are responsible for the development of satellite systems and launch vehicle systems; the China Satellite Launch, Measurement and Control System Department is responsible for The launch site and measurement and control system are organized and implemented; the Ministry of Natural Resources is the user department, and the National Satellite Ocean Application Center is responsible for the construction of ground systems and application systems.

This mission is the 370th launch of the Long March series of carrier rockets.

China Releases First Images From Martian Surface

Zhurong rover on the surface of Mars. (Credit: CNSA)

China released the first photographs of its Zhurong rover on the surface of Mars. The vehicle landed on the Red Planet’s Utopia Planitia on May 14. China is the third nation after the Soviet Union and the United States to land on Mars.

The ramp that the Zhurong rover will take to the surface of Mars. (Credit: CNSA)

China also released animated gif images of the Zhurong lander separating from the Tianwen-1 orbiter.

Zhurong separates from the Tianwen-1 orbiter. (Credit: CNSA)
Zhurong separates from the Tianwen-1 orbiter. (Credit: CNSA)

Zhurong will explore Mars with six instruments:

  • ground-penetrating radar (GPR) capable of imaging 100 meters (330 ft) below the surface
  • Mars surface magnetic field detector
  • Mars meteorological measurement Instrument
  • Mars surface compound detector, which combines laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy and infrared spectroscopy
  • multi-spectrum camera
  • navigation and topography camera.

Statement by Roscosmos and CNSA on the Creation of the Lunar Station

The Roscosmos State Corporation and the China National Space Administration have adopted a joint statement on cooperation in the creation of the International Scientific Lunar Station (INLS).

“Taking into account the experience of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China in the field of space science, the creation and use of space technology and space technologies, recognizing the mutual interest in the creation of the International Scientific Lunar Station, guided by the legislation of their states, generally recognized principles and norms of international law, international treaties, of which their states are participants, and to carry out cooperation on the principles of equality, openness and honesty, hereby jointly publish a statement on cooperation in the field of creating an MNLS, ” the document says.

MNLS is a complex of experimental research facilities created on the surface and / or in orbit around the Moon with the possible involvement of other countries, international organizations and other international partners. It is designed to carry out multidisciplinary and multipurpose research activities, including the exploration and use of the moon, lunar observations, fundamental research experiments and technology verification, with the possibility of long-term unmanned operation with the prospect of ensuring the presence of a person.

At the same time, the parties emphasize that the MNLS is open to all international partners interested in cooperation in the planning, justification, design, development, implementation and operation of the MNLS, strengthening research exchanges and promoting the peaceful exploration and use of outer space in the interests of all mankind. The parties welcome the material and non-material contribution of international partners to cooperation in the field of the creation of MNLS in any aspect of the mission at every stage and are convinced that cooperation will be mutually beneficial for all participants.

Russia and China traditionally strive to develop cooperation in the field of space technologies, space science and the use of outer space. To date, within the framework of interaction in the field of lunar and deep space exploration, an Agreement has been signed and is being successfully implemented between the Roscosmos State Corporation and the China National Space Administration on cooperation in the framework of coordination of the Russian mission with the Luna-Resurs-1 orbital spacecraft and the Chinese research mission the polar region of the Moon Chang’e-7, as well as the Agreement between the State Corporation Roscosmos and the Chinese National Space Administration on cooperation in the creation of a joint data center for the exploration of the Moon and deep space.

Chang’e-5 Orbiter Enters Sun-Earth Lagrange Point

The PolyU-developed system successfully completed the automatic sample collection and packaging on the lunar surface, and is currently on the journey back to Earth. (Credit: Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

BEIJING (CNSA PR) — The Chang’e-5 orbiter has entered a periodic orbit near the Sun-Earth L1 point, achieving the first-stage expansion mission goal and becoming my country’s first spacecraft to enter the Sun-Earth L1 periodic orbit. At present, the whole machine has stable attitude, balanced energy, and normal working conditions. It runs for about 6 months in this orbit.

The Chang’e-5 orbiter separated from the returner on December 17, 2020. After being transferred to the long-term management stage on December 21, it carried out two orbital maneuvers and two midway corrections. After 88 days of flight, it was At 13:29 on the 15th, it successfully entered the periodic orbit near the sun-earth L1 point and carried out follow-up missions.

The full name of “solar-earth L1 point” is “solar-earth Lagrangian L1 point”, which is located between the line of the sun and the earth, about 1.5 million kilometers away from the earth. At the “sun-earth L1 point”, the relative position of the object relative to the sun and the earth remains basically unchanged. 

There are periodic orbits and quasi-periodic orbits near the Lagrangian point. In theory, spacecraft can move along these orbits and observe the sun or the sun-facing surface of the earth without interruption.

China’s First Mars Spacecraft Enters Orbit Around the Red Planet

First released picture of Mars from China’s Tianwen-1 spacecraft. (Credit: China National Space Administration)

BEIJING (China National Space Administration PR) — At 19:52 on February 10, 2021, China’s first Mars exploration mission, Tianwen-1, carried out near-fire capture braking. The 3000N orbital control engine of the orbiter ignited for about 15 minutes, and the probe successfully entered the near-fire altitude.

A large elliptical orbit of 400 kilometers, with a period of about 10 Earth days and an inclination of about 10º, has become my country’s first man-made Mars satellite, achieving the goal of “orbiting, landing, and patrolling.” Zhang Kejian, director of the National Space Administration and commander-in-chief of the first Mars exploration mission, announced the success of orbiting Mars.

Zhang Kejian said that in the early hours of this morning, the UAE “Hope” has successfully entered the orbit of the ring fire. I would like to congratulate the UAE colleagues and wish the U.S. “Perseverance” a successful landing on Mars in the coming days! Exploring the vast universe is the common dream of all mankind. We will cooperate sincerely and go hand in hand with countries all over the world to make mankind’s exploration of space go further. On the occasion of the New Year holiday, on behalf of the first Mars exploration mission engineering headquarters, I would like to extend Chinese New Year blessings to all the participants in the research! I hope that everyone will keep in mind General Secretary Xi Jinping’s “starting a new journey of interstellar exploration one step at a time”, and make persistent efforts, meticulous organization, and precise implementation to ensure the complete success of the “Tianwen No. 1” project mission of “circumnavigation, patrol”.

After the first Mars exploration mission entered the Mars capture phase from the ground fire transfer phase, the medium-resolution camera, high-resolution camera, magnetometer, mineral spectrum analyzer, ion and neutral particles and energy particles carried by the Tianwen-1 orbiter The payloads such as sounding instruments will continue to work to carry out multi-dimensional exploration of Mars.

Since its successful launch on July 23, 2020, the Tianwen-1 probe has accumulated 202 days of flight, completed 1 deep-space maneuver and 4 midway corrections, and had a flight mileage of approximately 475 million kilometers upon reaching Mars, and a distance of approximately 1.92 from Earth. 100 million kilometers, the one-way delay of device-to-ground communication is about 10.7 minutes, and each system is in good condition. Subsequent Tianwen-1 will undergo several orbital adjustments, enter the Mars mooring orbit, and carry out pre-selected landing zone exploration. It is planned to choose an opportunity to land on Mars from May to June 2021 and carry out inspections.