Recently, Wu Yanhua, Deputy Director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), appeared on CCTV in an interview and unveiled that there are still several, multi-purpose carrier rockets under development and will be launched within the next few years. Furthermore, the country has approved the fourth phase of its lunar exploration project, another step in the nation’s new journey of interstellar exploration.
According to the report, one of the rockets is a heavy-lift rocket which can send a 150-ton spacecraft into low Earth orbit, the weight is equivalent to the Tiangong space station. In addition, the space rocket can also send a 30-ton spacecraft to the moon, which is equivalent to four Chang’e-5 probes.
In the future, the heavy-lift rocket will meet China’s major national space missions such as deep space exploration and manned missions to the Moon. At present, the rockets have begun testing and are undergoing technical modifications.
At the same time, a new generation of manned rockets is also under development. On the basis of the Long March 5 rocket, the new rockets will bind two boosters with a diameter of five meters on both sides of the Long March 5 core stage. The propellants will be non-toxic and pollution-free liquid oxygen plus liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen plus kerosene.
A new generation of launch vehicle plans are being developed. In the future, the Long March series of rockets will also develop reusable rockets.
Wu Yanhua also revealed that the country has approved the fourth phase of its lunar exploration project.
The fourth phase of China’s lunar exploration project includes Chang’e-6, Chang’e-7 and Chang’e-8 missions, and will be implemented one after another over the next decade. In addition, the country is still reviewing the long-term strategic planning of space exploration including the exploration of the margins of the solar system.
In the early morning of December 27, the crew of Shenzhou-13 astronauts successfully completed all the scheduled tasks of the second extra-vehicular space walk. Crew members, Zhai Zhigang and Ye Guangfu, returned safely to the space station core module Tianhe after their work was finished.