China Space Invasion is coming: What Everybody Must Know about Its Global Plans

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We regularly hear some space news from NASA, SpaceX or Russia but China also has ambitious space plans backed by multi-step procedures and lots of money.

Nuclear-powered spaceships, robotic moon bases and everything you need to know about China space program.

On Dec. 26 China launched remote sensing satellites on a Long March-2C carrier rocket. This launch was the eighteenth for China this year, according to GBTimes. That means China equaled to SpaceX in the number of successful launches this year that is more than half of all (29) US launches. The same number of launches (18) were made by Russia in 2017.

china-space-race-pics

Reusable rockets

Not only SpaceX, but the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) also plans to build and fly its reusable space plane for the first time in 2020.

The China Academy of Launch Technology (a CASC subsidiary) announced the creation of two-stage spaceplane that would be rocket-powered. Ambitious plan is that it will be able to fly off a runway at hypersonic speeds to near space. Then a reusable second-stage rocket would carry passengers and cargo and reach an altitude of 180-310 miles in orbit.

Deep-space exploration

CASC doesn’t want to stop on space tourism, it also plans to explore deep-space. Key among these plans is for a nuclear-powered spacecraft, which is slated to enter service in 2040, most likely to support a manned Chinese Martian mission. CASC also has plans for China to engage in deep-space economic activity, like building orbit solar power plants, and mining asteroids and the moon.

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Source: China Daily/via REUTERS

Lunar landing program

China is aiming to launch a carrier rocket with a 100-ton-plus payload for the first time by about 2030, according to a report of the symposium published on the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council website on Monday.

China plans to land the Chang’e-4 lunar probe on the dark side of the moon in 2018, the report said.

The Chang’e-5 probe will be launched next year, the last chapter in China’s three-step — orbit, land and return — lunar exploration program.

Chang’e-5 will collect and return rock samples to Earth. After that, China will launch three more missions to study the moon’s south pole.

The country’s first Mars probe is scheduled to be launched on a Long March 5 by 2020 from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site, South China’s Hainan Province.

The probe will hopefully orbit, land and deploy a rover on the Red Planet.

This article, written by Deng Xiaoci, was originally published in the Global Times.

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China Space Invasion is coming: What Everybody Must Know about Its Global Plans
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Nuclear-powered spaceships, robotic moon bases and everything you need to know about China space program.
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