LifestyleChina Reveals the Name of the Spacecraft Sending its Astronauts to the...

China Reveals the Name of the Spacecraft Sending its Astronauts to the Moon

China’s Space Agency Unveils Names for Moon-bound Spacecraft

China’s human spaceflight agency has recently unveiled the names of the spacecraft being developed for future moon missions. Mengzhou is the spacecraft designated for venturing beyond low Earth orbit, while the lunar lander has been named Lanyue. These names hold significant cultural references, with Lanyue meaning “Embracing the Moon” in honor of the Tang dynasty poet Li Bai, as stated in a press release by China’s human spaceflight Agency, CMSA. Mengzhou, on the other hand, carries the meaning of “Dream Vessel” and follows the naming convention established by China’s Shenzhou and Tianzhou spacecraft.

Public Contest and Final Selection for Names

CMSA initiated a public contest in August 2023 to crowdsource names for these spacecraft. After receiving 2,000 submissions from a diverse range of organizations and individuals, the final names were chosen by an expert panel.

Technical Details and Mission Progress

Initially known as the “next-generation crewed spacecraft,” Mengzhou is set to accommodate seven astronauts for missions in low Earth orbit and three astronauts for lunar orbit. Anticipated to make its debut flight around 2027, Mengzhou underwent a boilerplate test flight in 2020. The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the country’s primary space contractor, is responsible for the design and construction of the spacecraft and lander. Furthermore, CASC is developing a new rocket, the Long March 10, to facilitate the launch of these spacecraft.

Mission Overview and Lunar Landing Strategy

China’s moon landing strategy involves the deployment of two Long March 10 rockets, based on the current Long March 5 model. One rocket will carry Mengzhou while the other will transport Lanyue. Following their rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, astronauts will transfer to the lander for their descent to the moon’s surface. Lanyue, equipped with a crew rover weighing 440 pounds (200 kilograms), will facilitate the astronauts’ return to lunar orbit after their exploration. Subsequently, the spacecraft will dock again in preparation for the journey back to Earth.

Upcoming Developments and Mission Status

According to Ji Qiming, assistant to the director of CMSA, progress on the hardware for the mission is proceeding smoothly. Key components such as the Long March 10 rocket, Mengzhou crew spacecraft, Lanyue lander, and spacesuits have been completed. Additionally, the technical plans for the launch site and landing site have been finalized.

In conclusion, with the ongoing developments and meticulous preparations, China’s upcoming moon missions are poised for significant advancements in human spaceflight.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Subscribe Today

GET EXCLUSIVE FULL ACCESS TO PREMIUM CONTENT

SUPPORT NONPROFIT JOURNALISM

EXPERT ANALYSIS OF AND EMERGING TRENDS IN CHILD WELFARE AND JUVENILE JUSTICE

TOPICAL VIDEO WEBINARS

Get unlimited access to our EXCLUSIVE Content and our archive of subscriber stories.

Exclusive content

Latest article

More article