China starts preparation for manned moon project, aiming for 2030
A schematic diagram of China's lunar laboratory. /CMSA
A schematic diagram of China's lunar laboratory. /CMSA

A schematic diagram of China's lunar laboratory. /CMSA

China has started the preparation work for landing Chinese people on the moon, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

The agency said they have planned to land the first Chinese person on the moon by 2030.

They also described the supposed landing process.

The first step is to launch an unmanned moon orbiter and lander like the previous Chang'e lunar missions, after which a new-generation manned spacecraft will be sent up and dock with the orbiter.

The Chinese astronaut, or taikonaut, will then enter the lander residing in the orbiter and land on the moon.

After the landing and related research activities, the taikonaut will head back to the lander, which will take them away from the moon toward the spacecraft.

Finally, the spacecraft will separate from the orbiter and carry the taikonaut home.

The research and construction work of the project is already underway. The Wenchang Satellite Launch Site in south China's Hainan Province is planning to build a new launchpad for the project.

The new spacecraft is an upgrade from the Shenzhou series that served China's manned space mission for decades, which will mainly be used for lunar missions while undertaking the space station missions.

The CMSA said the new spacecraft will be reusable, which can carry three people for moon missions and seven for space station missions.

The moon lander will also be a new model, which can carry two people and equipment like rovers and payloads. It will be home for the taikonauts on the moon surface, providing life support, energy and data links.

The agency is asking the public to suggest names for the new-generation manned spacecraft and the manned moon lander.

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