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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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.

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 Collected 1.7 kg of Lunar Materials

Chang’e-5 sample container. (Credit: CNSA)

BEIJING (CNSA PR) — On the morning of December 19, the National Space Administration held a lunar sample handover ceremony for the lunar exploration project Chang’e 5 mission in Beijing. Together with some participating units, they witnessed the handover of the samples to the mission ground application system, marking that the Chang’e 5 mission was completed The implementation phase has officially shifted to a new stage of scientific research, which kicked off our country’s first extraterrestrial celestial body sample storage, analysis and research work.

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Video: Chang’e-5 Ascender Docks with Orbiter-Return Vehicle

Video Caption: The Chang’e-5 ascender automatically docked with the orbiter-sample return vehicle on 5 December 2020, at 21:42 UTC (6 December, at 05:42 China Standard Time).

At 22:12 UTC (6 December, 06:12 CST), the sample container, containing the soil collected from the Moon, was transferred from the ascender to the sample return vehicle.

Chang’e-5 will orbit the Moon for a few days, waiting for adequate window to return to Earth.

Credit: China Central Television (CCTV)/China National Space Administration (CNSA)

Chang’e-5 Collects Lunar Soil Sample

After landing on the moon’s Ocean of Storms on Tuesday, China’s Chang’e-5 lander got right to work collecting soil samples that will be returned to Earth.

The China National Space Administration (CNSA) reports that lander drilled into the lunar surface, extracted a sample, and sealed it up in a container. Chinese media report the hole was 2 meters (6.5 ft) deep.

Chang’e-5 will also collect samples using a robotic arm and scoop. The lander is expected to collect 2 kg (4.4 lb) of soil.

Once sample collection is completed, an ascender will lift off from the moon for a rendezvous and docking with the Chang’e-5 spacecraft in lunar orbit. Launch from the lunar surface could come on Thursday.

The soil samples will be transferred to a sample return vehicle which will travel back to Earth for a parachute landing in China some time in mid-December.

If successful, China will become only the third nation after the United States and the Soviet Union to return samples from the lunar surface.

Chang’e-5 to Collect Lunar Samples Over 2 Days

Image taken by the landing camera of the Chang’e-5 probe after a soft landing (Credit: CNSA)

BEIJING (CNSA PR) — At 23:11 on December 1, the Chang’e-5 probe successfully landed on the pre-selected landing area on the nearside of the moon at 51.8 degrees west longitude and 43.1 degrees north latitude, and returned the landing image.

At 22:57 on December 1, the combination of Chang’e-5 lander and ascender began to perform a power drop from about 15 kilometers away from the moon surface. The 7,500 N variable thrust engine was turned on, and the relative speed of the probe relative to the moon was gradually increased from about 1.7 km/sec. 

During this period, the probe made rapid attitude adjustments and gradually approached the moon surface. After that, automatic obstacle detection was carried out. After the landing site was selected, the obstacle avoidance and slow vertical descent began, and the land steadily landed in the area north of the Rumker Mountain in the Ocean of Storms. During the landing, the landing camera equipped with the lander took an image of the landing area.

After the successful landing, the lander under ground control has carried out inspection and setup work, such as the deployment of the solar wing and the directional antenna, and will officially start the lunar surface work lasting about 2 days to collect lunar samples.

France, China to Cooperate on Earth Observation, Lunar Exploration and More

PARIS (CNES PR) — Monday, September 28, 2020, Jean-Yves Le Gall, President of CNES, met with Zhang Kejian, Administrator of the CNSA (China National Space Administration). 

Their last meeting took place in Beijing on November 5, 2019 on the occasion of the official visit of the President of the Republic to China and the signing of the Joint Declaration on Cooperation Relating to the Chang’e 6 Mission and a Mission satellite for monitoring the water cycle.

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Chang’e-4 Exceeds 400 Days & 400 Meters on Far Side of the Moon

China’s Yutu 2 rover drives off the Chang’e-4 lander. (Credit: CNSA)

BEIING (China National Space Administration PR) — On the far side of the distant moon, after 14 days of moonlight, the sun shone again on the Chang’e 4 lander and the Yutu 2 lunar rover, and the Chang’e 4 lander and the Yutu 2 lunar rover returned to work.

Awakened independently on March 18, and entered the 16th day work period. The ground was confirmed to be in good condition and the working conditions were normal, and a new round of scientific detection was carried out as planned. “Yutu No. 2” lunar rover traveled to the new target point and started exploring again on the back of the moon.

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