China's Robot Moon Base Transforms the Future of Space

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 - 1:52PM
Wednesday, 06 December 2017 - 1:52PM
China's Robot Moon Base Transforms the Future of Space
China has officially entered the 21st-century space race, with ambitious plans to build a robotic moon base and launch probes as well. 

And that's only a small part of the nation's plans to ramp up its studies of space, both lunar and beyond.
 
China's lunar center would exist for scientific purposes, with research and experimentation conducted toward geological studies and provide a cheaper alternative to rovers that would have to send samples back to Earth, Dr. Lu Yu, director of Science and Technology Committee of China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technologyannounced at the recent International Conference on Space Technology Innovation.

China will take its time to carefully establish its moon base—the mission would likely get underway in 2030, with the launch of rocket carrying a 100-ton payload for the project. However, China will pay a visit to the moon in 2018, as it sends the Chang'e-4 lunar probe up to take a look around.
 
According to NASA, the Chang'e-4 Farside Lander will be a rover mission, whose launch will be preceded by a June 2018 launch of a communication relay satellite whose purpose would be to provide contact with the Chang'e-4 when it's working the far side of the moon.
 
2019 is the scheduled year for the Chang'e-5 mission, which the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) will send up to collect a sample of lunar regolith from beneath the surface, which will be returned to Earth for study.

 

The CNSA has also previously reported plans to send robotic missions to explore the lunar poles.

Additionally, China's first Mars probe is set to launch in 2020, the first of four deep space explorations missions, which while focused the exploration of Mars will also include asteroid probes and study of Jupiter, China Daily reported.

Science
NASA