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A Chinese astronaut to the moon - when?

Despite the optimistic estimates of the Chinese at the beginning of their manned space operations about sending an astronaut to the moon in 2017, today it turns out that manned flights towards the establishment of a base will only be after 2030.

A spacesuit in a museum in Inner Mongolia, China. Photo: Katoosha /
A spacesuit in a museum in Inner Mongolia, China. Photo: Katoosha /

In 2000, Chinese scientists began discussing planning a manned base on the moon. All discussions were theoretical in nature because they had not yet been budgeted for this purpose. It was a long-term master plan. According to the outline that was decided upon, this base will be established in three stages and they are:
1. In 2005, manned landings on the moon will begin and modular construction of the base will begin. This base will be equipped with off-road vehicles.
2. The construction of the base will be completed in 2010 and it will allow astronauts to stay for several weeks.
3. At the beginning of 2015, the construction of a small permanent base will begin and it will be completed in 2020. It is designed to be self-sustaining.
Since the Chinese realized that the plan was too ambitious, it was reduced and will be done in four stages:
1. In 2005, spacecraft will be launched that will fly past it or enter orbit around it. Launcher 3 - DFH will be used.
2. In 2010, unmanned landings will be implemented.
3. In 2020, automatic all-terrain vehicles will be placed on the surface of the moon.
4. In 2030 flights will begin to return soil samples to Earth.
Manned flights in preparation for the establishment of a base will only happen after 2030. In a statement by the Chinese Space Agency in 2003, it was stated that the first manned flight would be in 2017. The spacecraft will enter orbit around the moon. At the same time, the Chinese began developing launchers with a payload of 25 tons. A payload capacity that could allow the launch of manned spacecraft to the moon. The maximum load today is 8 tons for orbit around the Earth. According to the statement of the Chinese space agency, landing a man on the moon is definitely possible within 15 years.
In June 2014 it was reported that China plans to send an astronaut to the moon without landing in the near future. For this purpose, some changes will be made to the Shenzhou spacecraft, the spacecraft will be launched without the orbital cell. From the command cabin itself, chairs for two astronauts will be removed. Only one astronaut will be launched. The space that will be freed will allow the introduction of equipment such as food, water and more, which will allow the astronaut to stay in space for eight days. He will have a lot of room for movement in the cockpit. A small attachment system will be installed instead of the orbital cell. The flight to the moon will be done in two stages and the Long March 2F launcher will be used. Following the internal changes and the removal of the orbital cell, the spacecraft's weight will decrease and it will be possible to place it in a higher orbit around the Earth.
In the first stage, an accelerator will be launched into orbit around the Earth and it will remain in its orbit for a month. At the end of this period, the astronaut will be launched and his spacecraft will connect to the accelerator. The connection will be on the front side of the control room. The accelerator will put the spacecraft on a flight path that will take it to the moon for three days. After the spacecraft enters a flight path towards the moon, the booster disengages from it. During the flight, the spacecraft will rotate around itself to prevent overheating of its sides from the sun. Near the moon, the spacecraft will stop rotating around itself and the astronaut will start making lunar observations. As mentioned, the spacecraft will make half a revolution around the moon. Then the spacecraft's engines will be activated and it will begin its flight back to Israel. Near the Earth, the attachment mechanism and the toilet compartment will be disconnected from the spacecraft. The command cabin will enter the atmosphere for landing.
It can be seen that this is a very modest plan compared to the statements made in 2000. It is likely that the reasons for this are budgetary and the lack of powerful launchers capable of enabling a direct flight to the moon such as the Apollo spacecraft. The Chinese have given up, at least at this stage, on establishing a manned base on the moon.
However, the Chinese are continuing their long-term plan to establish a manned base on the moon. For this purpose, a simulation chamber was built where three astronauts stayed for 115 days from February 3, 2014 to May 20. The imaging chamber was named Lunar Palace 1. The facility contains various life support systems such as water and food circulation. The volunteers grew edible plants. 55% of the food products were grown in a laboratory. The other items came from outside. In the laboratory, 58 square meters for crops and 42 square meters for living. It is likely that a few more experiments will be done in the imaging chamber until the manned landings on the moon begin.
1. Mark Wade: "Chinese Lunar base" 2005
2. Haung Leyi and Yu fei - "Chinese scientists prepare for lunar base life support system"
3. Morris Jones – “China's fast track to circumlunar mission" 16.7.2014

5 תגובות

  1. Life - indeed heads are not beheaded in China because all possible organs are harvested from those sentenced to death while they are still alive. The organs are sold ahead of time to transplant candidates who arrive in China by appointment for the execution date. And no one knows which of those executed is a serious criminal who murdered several people, who simply stole money from a senior government member or a company he owns, and who simply opposes a regime that was maliciously criminalized.

  2. Herzl
    The article deals with only one thing, about a manned flight to the moon. no more. Feel free to write about the Chinese failure with their lunar SUV. Don't forget that mistakes are inevitable. The Americans also had failures at the beginning of their journey in launching to the moon and Mars. As for the regime in China. It is not democratic, but not a dictatorship either. And I am sure that questions are asked and there is no confusion. The government is more tolerant of criticism even if it is sharp. If you would like to deepen your knowledge of the nature of the regime in China, read books in political science that discuss the Chinese regime.

  3. Reminiscent of the five-year plans during the Stalin era. Successful scientists in a totalitarian state are those who have "connections" with the government, and to deepen these connections they announce various grandiose plans.
    The article should have mentioned the lunar vehicle that the Chinese built and that did not meet the environmental conditions on the moon. That is - substandard engineering, bogus environmental conditions tests, a manager who ignores reality. With proper management, most of the faults would have been discovered long before the launch. But in a totalitarian country it is impossible to postpone a launch because the vehicle failed the tests. So plaster. And when the vehicle fails on the moon, then they promise "a lunar base that will hold itself". At least now they are talking about 2030, probably a year after the head of the program has retired and it will no longer be possible to fire him.

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