(ECNS) -- China’s manned moon landing plan will be carried out in three phases, announced Zhang Hailian, deputy chief designer of China Manned Space Program, on Wednesday at central China’s Wuhan.
Zhang pointed out that the first phase involves key technology breakthroughs and further verification of the plan. Then it comes to the lunar landing phase, which is expected to be achieved before 2030. The third phase is about lunar exploration and development. By then, China will construct a lunar research experimental station and conduct continuous lunar exploration and technology experiments.
The planned mission will be conducted in lunar orbit, Zhang said.
In other words, the expert explained, two launch vehicles will send a lunar lander and a manned spacecraft to the orbit together. Then, the spacecraft and the lander will dock in lunar orbit, allowing the astronauts to move from the spacecraft to the lunar lander. Next, the lunar lander will separate from the spacecraft and descend to a predetermined area on the lunar surface, where the astronauts will conduct scientific investigations and collect samples.
After completing the designated tasks, the astronauts will return to the lunar lander and ascend to the lunar orbit, where the lander will dock with the spacecraft. The astronauts will then transfer lunar samples and other items to the spacecraft before separating it from the lunar lander. Finally, the spacecraft will return to the Earth, Zhang added.
To accomplish this mission, Chinese researchers are currently developing the Long March 10 carrier rocket, a new generation of manned spacecraft, lunar lander, lunar surface suits, manned lunar rover, etc.