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China gets involved in space race 2.0

China is building a new generation manned carrier rocket expected to make its debut launch in 2027. The new rocket is being developed to launch the next generation of manned spacecraft and planned lunar landers.

China’s ambitious space exploration program continues to aim higher as the development phase gathers pace. According to Rong Yi, the chief designer of the Long March-2F carrier plans are progressing smoothly.

CMSE: China's crewed lunar missions are underway, and everything is in plan. Two Chinese astronauts will land on the Moon in 2029 #CNSA

— Yuqi Qian (@YuqiiQian) February 26, 2023

“The rocket will have a core diameter of five meters, tied up with a booster of the same diameter. To meet the demands of the manned lunar landing, its carrying capacity on the lunar trajectory will reach 27 tons, while around 70 tons for low-Earth orbit,” she said.

Rong added that engineers building the carrier rocket are drawing from past experiences with previous models. Advanced technologies like intelligent flight programming were also added to improve the carrier’s in-flight reliability.

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“With regard to intelligent flight, there will be some practical project applications of the rocket to enhance the probability of success in missions and to ensure the safety of astronauts. In addition, the rocket will help to further optimize the operation costs of China’s space station, so the first stage of the rocket is designed to be reusable, and there is an innovative plan for the reuse,” the chief designer emphasized.

Space interest rises

Just three years after the first manned mission managed to land on the surface of the moon in 1969, the last manned mission returned to earth, leaving the moon barren for half a century.

Now, several years have already passed since U.S. billionaire Elon Musk told the world about his plan to skip a manned mission to the moon and try to go straight to Mars with the help of his SpaceX spacecraft company.

China’s declarations may just be the catalyst needed to start the second space race.

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