Credit: CNSA/China News Service Screengrab

In a recent China Central Television (CCTV) interview with Wang Liheng, a senior consultant of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, he discussed building a scientific research base on the moon.

“Experts propose that after the three steps for the lunar probe program and the three steps for a manned space program, the two ‘three steps’ can be combined to build a scientific research and development base on the Moon,” Wang said.

Apollo 15 image captures landing locale of China’s Chang’e-5 Moon lander – the Mons Rümker region in the northern part of Oceanus Procellarum.
Credit: NASA

People will go to the Moon first to undergo the trials posed by the lunar environment and adapt to it, and then go deeper into space. “The next goal is to send people to the Mars,” Wang said.

Larger carrier rocket

Wang also said in order to carry larger spacecraft into space, China is conducting studies on a heavy-lift rocket which is about 100 meters long and has a diameter of nearly 10 meters with a payload capacity reaching 100 tons.

“The current Long March-5 carrier rocket has a payload capacity of 23 to 25 tons. But in the future, in order to go to the Moon and Mars or even further, a carrier with a larger payload is needed to launch our spacecraft,” Wang said.

Credit: CNSA/China News Service Screengrab


Bao Weimin of CASC and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, also advised CCTV: “The study on the heavy-lift rocket has now reached the stage where further researches on key technologies are being conducted.”

“With heavy-lift rockets, we can realize a larger lunar probe program – a manned lunar landing. It will be completed in 2030 or later,” Bao said.

One Response to “China’s Steps to the Moon: Scientific Research Base, New heavy-lift rocket”

  • Phil Clark says:

    The CZ-9 heavy lift launcher is also planned to carry a Chinese sample-return mission to Mars at the end of the 2020s.

    At present the Chinese still appear to be undecided whether to use solid or liquid propellant strap-on boosters on the CZ-9. If they go for solids it will be the first time that such boosters have been used on one of the main Chinese launch vehicles.

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