Chinese spacecraft on the moon is called “dream ship”

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A Long March-2F carrier rocket carrying three astronauts bound for China's orbital space station lifts off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia on October 26, 2023.

Hong Kong

The Chinese Space Agency has revealed the names of the spacecraft that it hopes will transport Chinese astronauts to the moon by the end of the current decade.

In a press release over the weekend, the China Manned Space Agency said development is “progressing well” on the Mengzhou spacecraft, or Dream Vessel, the lander, Lanyue, or Embracing the Moon, and the super-heavy carrier rocket named Long. March 10.

The vehicle is part of an ambitious program that Beijing hopes will confirm its status as a major space power.

China has not announced the date of its expected manned mission to the moon, but said it will take a while place by 2030 It aims to become only the second country to land astronauts on the moon.

The Mengzhou spacecraft consists of a reentry module that will house the astronauts and serve as a control center, and a service module for the power and propulsion systems. The car is about 9 meters long and weighs 22 metric tons, according to government media.

Reports said that the Lanyue lunar lander will accommodate two astronauts and a 200-kg rover.

The vehicle names were chosen by a group of experts from nearly 2,000 proposals requested from the public, according to the space agency.

The agency said that the word “Lanyu” first appeared in a poem written by the founder of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong, in 1965, and “symbolizes the Chinese people's ambition and confidence in their exploration of the universe and their journey to the moon.”

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She added that the name Mengzhou is linked to “the Chinese nation’s dream of landing on the moon.”

Beijing's space program has long been associated with leader Xi Jinping's “Chinese Dream.” “Renewal” of the country And achieving a position of power and prestige globally, including its technological capabilities.

China's lunar ambitions come as more countries scale up their space programs, eyeing the potential scientific benefits, national prestige, access to resources and continued deep space exploration that successful lunar missions and other developments can bring.

The United States is working to ramp up its lunar program, with NASA announcing its plan last month Astronauts landing on the moon In 2026, a year later than originally scheduled. This would be a first for the United States since the Apollo missions of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Last week, the commercial Odysseus lunar lander developed by Intuitive Machines became the spacecraft The first American-made spacecraft To land on the moon in 50 years.

In January, Japan “Moon Sniper” The robotic explorer landed on the moon. This landing made Japan the third country this century – and the fifth ever – to land on the moon. India joined that list last year.

Beijing has advanced lunar landings in recent years through the unmanned Chang'e missions, which made history in 2019 when China became the first country to successfully land on the lunar surface. Far side of the moon.

Next drone mission Chang'e-6It is expected to launch later this year and return the first samples ever collected from the far side of the Moon.

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China also expects its upcoming missions to collect data to achieve another lunar goal, which is to build a permanent international research station on the lunar south pole by 2040.

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