China's Space Program News Thread

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As USA 270 closed in on Shiyan-12-01 and Shiyan-12-02, the Chinese inspection satellites took off in opposite directions with Shiyan 12 02 moving into position to get a sunlit view of the U.S. surveillance satellite. Shiyan-12-02 positioned itself between the sun and USA 270 providing a perfect imaging opportunity of USA 270.
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I have been following the progress of the missile profile for the sample return for a while now:

Since the start I figured CNSA was in with a chance to get that first beating NASA and looks like it's shaping up to be that way.


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Sun Zezhou, Chief Designer of Wentian Mars Explorer and ChangE -3/-4 series Lunar Explorer, held a lecture at an Extraterrestrial Living and Life Supporting Technologies Forum which was part of the 120th Anniversary Ceremony of Nanjing University.

Doctor Sun demonstrated the upcoming Mars Surface Sampling and Returning Plan of China in the lecture.

The MSSRP is scheduled to run during May 2028(Plan Mars Spring) or November 2028(Plan Mars Fall) to July 2031.

The Mars Lander-Ascender Complex will be launched, as Plan Fall, in December 2028, and descend onto Mars surface in September 2029, or as Plan Spring, launched in May 2028 and descend in April 2030 onto the Mars.

Then the Complex will release the Rover. The Rover will explore the Mars like the Tinwen Mars Rover and take Martian soil and rock samples back to the Ascender module.

The Mars Orbiter-Returner Complex will be launched in November 2028 and inject to the LMO in May 2030.

The Ascender will then be launched from the Mars surface in May or June 2030, as Plan Fall, or in October 2030, as Plan Spring. Then the Ascender will meet and dock to the Orbiter-Returner complex and handover the samples to the Returner module.

Then the Mars Orbiter-Returner Complex depart and the Returner go back to the Earth and reentry in July 2031 while the Orbiter stayed as a telecom relay and Mars surveillance satellite for the future Mars exploration.

The explorer is formed by two separate parts: the Mars Orbiter-Returner Complex
, and the Mars Lander-Ascender Complex.

The Mars Orbiter-Returner Complex has two parts: a Mars Orbiter and a Returner to Earth.

The Mars Lander-Ascender Complex has three pars: a Lander, a Mars Rover, and an Ascender.

Both complexes will be launched by one CZ series rocket(CZ-5 as for planned now).

A full flowchart of the plan.

Challenge 1: Autonomous rendezvous and docking at the Mars orbit without GPS and other measurement support.

Challenge 2: Sampling on the Mars surface. There will be surface soil sampling, drilling sampling and multi-point mobile sampling for the job. Small dog-shaped robot will be released to take samples.

Challenge 3: Ascending from the Mars. A 4.5km/h delta-v will be needed to ascend from the Mars surface. And lacking of the Martian atmospheric data will also be a great challenge.
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Image taken by an amateur astronomer.



Presentation slides on a study into low metabolic states of humans. This has relevance for interplanetary travel. A google translation is provided for the summary text.


The China Astronaut Research and Training Center conducted a study on space low metabolism regulation technology. Through the 10-day and 21-day complete fasting experiments, it was found that the human body can fully tolerate the 21-day water fasting, and the resting energy metabolism consumption of the human body can be reduced by up to 53%, thereby enabling the body to reach a new metabolic steady state. , which shows that the human body has the potential to enter a dormant state. The relevant research conclusions are as follows:
1) Dormancy and fasting are the most potential and achievable hypometabolism regulation techniques. All of them can effectively reduce metabolism and energy consumption, and also have the potential to combat aerospace medical problems caused by long-term space flight, but the molecular mechanism of the induction, maintenance and protection of physiological hypometabolism by dormancy is still urgently needed to be elucidated.
2) After breakthroughs in the theory and technology of natural and safe dormancy induction, dormancy can be used for longer-term (months to years) manned deep space exploration and interstellar voyage missions. Based on dormancy-derived hypothermia therapy, its safety, metabolic consumption changes, and nutritional supplementation regimens in normal humans need to be evaluated.
3) Short-term fasting is an ideal choice to deal with emergency situations of food shortages during space flight and extraterrestrial base operations; reasonable intermittent fasting is a low-metabolism mode for manned deep space exploration that can be practically applied at this stage and in the future; supplemented by psychological The regulated fasting and hypometabolism regulation technology needs to be improved in terms of the efficiency of inducing hypometabolism, but its safety is higher and can be applied to emergency situations of food shortage in manned space flight, and extraterrestrial survival bases such as the moon (several days to several months), improve the efficiency of food use.



Some presentation slides on the Tianwen-2 astroid sample return mission.

1) The Tianwen-2 mission will conduct close observation and sample return of the near-Earth asteroid
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and close observation of a
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(MBC). The Tianwen-2 probe consists of two parts: the main detector and the sample return capsule.
2) Compared to close observation of large celestial bodies such as the moon and Mars, small-celestial body observation mission faces a unique set of challenges, such as much weaker gravitational environments and unknown soil characteristics of the target astroids.
3) The Tianwen-2 probe will perform its first rendezvous maneuver at a distance of 30,000 km from 2016HO3, followed by approximately three additional rendezvous maneuvers. Approximately six hours after the last maneuver, the probe will be within 2000km of 2016HO3. From there on, it will begin a slow approach to the astroid at a speed of approximately 2m/s.
4) The accuracy of the probe during the descent phase must <1m. The probe will rely on automated high-precision image matching navigation technology and
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precise control, among others, to achieve the required landing accuracy.
5) The sample return capsule will enter Earth's atmosphere at a very high speed (as high as 12.1km/s), which requires the development of new aerodynamic shapes and
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heat-resistant materials in order to withstand the harsh re-entry conditions characterized by high enthalpy, high shear force, and high
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. Additionally, the return capsule will perform supersonic parachute opening at a speed of Mach 2 to 2.4, with a dynamic pressure on the parachute being as high as 3000 Pa.

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