China's Space Program News Thread


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大型运载火箭 = heavy lift launch vehicle
重型运载火箭 = super heavy lift launch vehicle
I am afraid that this translation does not match either Chinese nor American categorization in either language.

In American terms:
Heavy lift is LEO 20 to 50 tonne. Above 50 is Super Heavy Lift.

In Chinese terms literally translated to English:
大型 is Large Lift: The only one so far is CZ-5B at about 23/24 tonne. So we can set the bar at > 20 tonne.
超大型 is Super Large Lift: The only one in the development is 921 at 70 tonne. So we can set the bar at > 50 tonne.
重型 is Heavy lift: The only one is CZ-9 at 140 tonne (the latest figure 150). So the bar is > 100 tonne.
The literal translation of "Super Heavy" would be "超重型", I imagine it have to be something more than 200 tonne.

So if you want to translate into English by going with NASA terminology, I suggest CZ-5 being "Heavy Lift", while CZ-9 being "Super Heavy Lift". By the same reason, 921 would be "Super Heavy Lift" as well.



I suppose that Tianwen-1 is the only Martian probe with a polar orbit. The reason being all American Martian probes use aerobraking for orbit capture which would preclude ending up in a polar orbit.

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China's Tianwen-1 enters Mars parking orbit​

BEIJING, Feb. 24 (Xinhua) -- China's Tianwen-1 probe on Wednesday entered the parking orbit of Mars after performing an orbital maneuver, according to the China National Space Administration (CNSA).
At 6:29 a.m. (Beijing Time), Tianwen-1 entered the parking orbit, with its closest point to the planet at 280 km and the farthest point at 59,000 km. It will take Tianwen-1 about two Martian days to complete a circle (a Martian day is approximately 40 minutes longer than a day on Earth), the CNSA said.

Tianwen-1, including an orbiter, a lander and a rover, will run in the orbit for about three months.
The CNSA added that payloads on the orbiter will all be switched on for scientific exploration. The medium-resolution camera, high-resolution camera and spectrometer will carry out a detailed investigation on the topography and dusty weather of the pre-selected landing area in preparation for a landing.

On July 23, 2020, Tianwen-1 was launched from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in southern China's island province of Hainan.
The probe has been traveling in space for 215 days and is currently about 212 million km from Earth. It entered the orbit around Mars on Feb. 10 and performed two orbital adjustments on Feb. 15 and Feb. 20. Enditem


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It's important to determine the composition of soil in the Mars poles to see if there's enough water to use for fuel and to supply a manned base. So I'm surprised the US hasn't sent a probe there yet.