News update: China's manned Moon landing plans- my analysis





China's future space/ manned Moon landing plans- my analysis

In a recent presentation on future space plans of China, these slides were presented as part of next generation manned spacecraft and lunar missions.

Current Chinese manned spacecraft 'Shenzhou' is based on an old design- the Soviet 'Soyuz'. As the first pic above (inside that, top left quadrant) shows that next generation manned spacecraft would look more or less like modern designs of 'Orion', 'Starliner' and 'Dragon' (all from USA).

The same quadrant image also shows Earth, Moon and Mars indicating similar strategy of China like NASA to expand their mission profiles step by step towards the Mars.

The top right quadrant in first pic shows the spacecraft docked with an orbiting lunar station (similar to proposed international "LOP-G"). A lunar lander is also docked with it from opposite side. The lunar lander is suggested to be like a shuttle "to and from" Moon surface.

The bottom left quadrant in first pic shows that, probably the lunar lander is going to be launched separately (unmanned) to dock automatically to Lunar station. When the crew arrives at station, they would have the lander ready to use.

The bottom right quadrant in first pic shows that, the Lunar station and a Lunar truck are also going to be launched separately (unmanned). When the crew arrives at lunar surface, they would have the truck ready to drive around.

I request my Chinese visitors to translate the fourth quadrant.

Last two images above are details of Chinese manned lunar lander. I see very different design than that from USA's Apollo LEM...

and planned Soviet LK lander...

Experts feel that, the Chinese lander has insufficient fuel/ payload to be used as a reliable/ reusable shuttle to frequently visit-&-return from lunar surface. Chinese rockets capable of carrying these payloads to the Moon/ Mars are still in design & development phase. Nevertheless, these plans are very exciting for manned space exploration and we wish best of luck to our Chinese friends!

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