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skywatcher

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Launch startup Galactic Energy: Maiden orbital flight of its LOX/Kerosene fueled rocket Pallas-1 will be ready to launch November 2024.

But I believe some sort of delay is possible. View attachment 238265

Pallas-1 is a medium lift LOX/RP-1 fueled rocket with a payload capacity of 5 tonne to LEO.
View attachment 238263
Update:
Pallas-1A has finished assembly, first launch is expected later this year:
– Diameter: 3.35m
– Mass at take-off: 283 tons
– Capacity to LEO: 8 tons, 10 tons with optional second stage.
– Reusable first stage powered by seven engines, launch can proceed with one engine out.

Pallas-1B:
– Mass at take-off: 730 tons
– Capacity (LEO): 17.5 tons
53507700235_a18c9c7c22_k.jpg
 

skywatcher

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100 orbital launches are scheduled for 2024


HELSINKI — China is planning a national record 100 orbital launches in 2024, according to the country’s main space contractor.

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) plans around 70 launches to send more than 290 spacecraft into orbit. The remaining launches will be performed by China’s growing commercial launch sector.

The plans are outlined in CASC’s annual “blue book,” released Feb. 26. The document does not provide a full launch manifest nor a detailed schedule, but offers an overview of planned activities.

Major missions include two crewed and two cargo missions to the Tiangong space station. The first half of the year will see the launch of the Queqiao-2 lunar relay satellite and Chang’e-6, a first-ever lunar far side sample return mission.

Other priorities noted include work on the country’s crewed lunar landing plan, targeting putting astronauts on the moon before 2030. Deep space exploration, geostationary radar satellites, the development of a new crew spacecraft and the Tianwen-2 (2025) near Earth asteroid and Chang’e-7 (2026) lunar south pole missions are also noted.

Further notable missions include an ocean salinity detection satellite, the Sino-Franco Space-based multi-band astronomical Variable Objects Monitor (SVOM), Einstein Probe, the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite-2 with European collaboration, and the retrievable Shijian-19 space science satellite. There will also be debut flights for the Long March 6C and Long March 12 rockets.

The planned 100 launch figure is a significant rise on the national record-setting 67 launches in 2023. CASC conducted 50 of these, with 17 performed by commercial actors. CASC targeted launching more than 60 times in 2023, according to a January 2023 statement, meaning it fell well short of last year’s goal.

New sea and commercial spaceports at Haiyang and Wenchang respectively will help facilitate the planned launch rate growth. CASC also says it aims to complete multiple commercial launches, including rideshares.

The Long March 12 is a new launch vehicle developed by CASC’s Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST). It was previously referred to as the “XLV” and will launch from the new commercial spaceport at Wenchang. The Long March 12 will be China’s first 3.8-meter-diameter launcher. It will be capable of lifting 10 tons to low Earth orbit or 6 tons to a 700-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.

The Long 6C—a variant of the Long March 6A minus its solid side boosters—will have its first launch this year. CASC previously planned for its debut launch in 2023.

Separately, official newspaper China Space News reported that CASC is planning four launches of its largest rocket, the Long March 5, in 2024. A further five missions will follow in 2025. These figures do not include launches of the Long March 5B low Earth orbit variant.

The rocket has so far launched seven times since its debut in 2016. A period of more than 900 days grounded due to the failure of the second launch. Its 2024 launches include the TJS-11 classified satellite launched last week and the Chang’e-6 mission expected in May.

Missions planned for China’s Tiangong Space Station are the Tianzhou-7 cargo spacecraft, which launched in January, and Tianzhou-8 around August. Shenzhou-18 will launch in the first half of the year to replace the current Shenzhou-17 crew. Another six-month-long crewed mission, Shenzhou-19, will launch late in the year, taking over from Shenzhou-18.

CASC also noted it will continue work on a “four-dimensional new generation commercial remote sensing satellite system.” The system, starting with SuperView (Gaojing) satellites according to earlier statements, is to comprise a total of at least 28 satellites. These include high-resolution optical payloads, wide-width optical payloads, high-resolution radar payloads and other diversified types of commercial remote sensing satellites.

It will also support the integration and value-added services of the Beidou GNSS system, and integrate satellite applications into emerging fields to support key regional economic development.

Officials with the state-owned space and defense giant stated in a press conference that the corporation would continue to make new and greater contributions to accelerating the construction of a powerful aerospace country and support the construction of a world-class military.

The blue book did not detail the plans of commercial actors. However previous statements by a number of these actors give an indication of the plans.

Landspace aims to launch three Zhuque-2 methalox rockets in 2024, following two successes in 2023. It will also likely conduct further hop tests for its stainless steel Zhuque-3. Galactic Energy plans at least 10 Ceres-1 solid rocket launches, while also debuting the kerolox Pallas-1.

Space Pioneer aims for a first flight of the Tianlong-3 around July, while Deep Blue Aerospace’s Nebula-1 orbital, reusable rocket could fly in the second half of 2024.

CAS Space (Kinetica-1), Expace (Kuaizhou rockets), and Orienspace (Gravity-1) have various plans for solid rocket launches.

 

SexyChineseLady

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100 orbital launches are scheduled for 2024


HELSINKI — China is planning a national record 100 orbital launches in 2024, according to the country’s main space contractor.

The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) plans around 70 launches to send more than 290 spacecraft into orbit. The remaining launches will be performed by China’s growing commercial launch sector.

The plans are outlined in CASC’s annual “blue book,” released Feb. 26. The document does not provide a full launch manifest nor a detailed schedule, but offers an overview of planned activities.

Major missions include two crewed and two cargo missions to the Tiangong space station. The first half of the year will see the launch of the Queqiao-2 lunar relay satellite and Chang’e-6, a first-ever lunar far side sample return mission.

Other priorities noted include work on the country’s crewed lunar landing plan, targeting putting astronauts on the moon before 2030. Deep space exploration, geostationary radar satellites, the development of a new crew spacecraft and the Tianwen-2 (2025) near Earth asteroid and Chang’e-7 (2026) lunar south pole missions are also noted.

Further notable missions include an ocean salinity detection satellite, the Sino-Franco Space-based multi-band astronomical Variable Objects Monitor (SVOM), Einstein Probe, the China Seismo-Electromagnetic Satellite-2 with European collaboration, and the retrievable Shijian-19 space science satellite. There will also be debut flights for the Long March 6C and Long March 12 rockets.

The planned 100 launch figure is a significant rise on the national record-setting 67 launches in 2023. CASC conducted 50 of these, with 17 performed by commercial actors. CASC targeted launching more than 60 times in 2023, according to a January 2023 statement, meaning it fell well short of last year’s goal.

New sea and commercial spaceports at Haiyang and Wenchang respectively will help facilitate the planned launch rate growth. CASC also says it aims to complete multiple commercial launches, including rideshares.

The Long March 12 is a new launch vehicle developed by CASC’s Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST). It was previously referred to as the “XLV” and will launch from the new commercial spaceport at Wenchang. The Long March 12 will be China’s first 3.8-meter-diameter launcher. It will be capable of lifting 10 tons to low Earth orbit or 6 tons to a 700-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit.

The Long 6C—a variant of the Long March 6A minus its solid side boosters—will have its first launch this year. CASC previously planned for its debut launch in 2023.

Separately, official newspaper China Space News reported that CASC is planning four launches of its largest rocket, the Long March 5, in 2024. A further five missions will follow in 2025. These figures do not include launches of the Long March 5B low Earth orbit variant.

The rocket has so far launched seven times since its debut in 2016. A period of more than 900 days grounded due to the failure of the second launch. Its 2024 launches include the TJS-11 classified satellite launched last week and the Chang’e-6 mission expected in May.

Missions planned for China’s Tiangong Space Station are the Tianzhou-7 cargo spacecraft, which launched in January, and Tianzhou-8 around August. Shenzhou-18 will launch in the first half of the year to replace the current Shenzhou-17 crew. Another six-month-long crewed mission, Shenzhou-19, will launch late in the year, taking over from Shenzhou-18.

CASC also noted it will continue work on a “four-dimensional new generation commercial remote sensing satellite system.” The system, starting with SuperView (Gaojing) satellites according to earlier statements, is to comprise a total of at least 28 satellites. These include high-resolution optical payloads, wide-width optical payloads, high-resolution radar payloads and other diversified types of commercial remote sensing satellites.

It will also support the integration and value-added services of the Beidou GNSS system, and integrate satellite applications into emerging fields to support key regional economic development.

Officials with the state-owned space and defense giant stated in a press conference that the corporation would continue to make new and greater contributions to accelerating the construction of a powerful aerospace country and support the construction of a world-class military.

The blue book did not detail the plans of commercial actors. However previous statements by a number of these actors give an indication of the plans.

Landspace aims to launch three Zhuque-2 methalox rockets in 2024, following two successes in 2023. It will also likely conduct further hop tests for its stainless steel Zhuque-3. Galactic Energy plans at least 10 Ceres-1 solid rocket launches, while also debuting the kerolox Pallas-1.

Space Pioneer aims for a first flight of the Tianlong-3 around July, while Deep Blue Aerospace’s Nebula-1 orbital, reusable rocket could fly in the second half of 2024.

CAS Space (Kinetica-1), Expace (Kuaizhou rockets), and Orienspace (Gravity-1) have various plans for solid rocket launches.

WOW!!! 100!? In 2024?! So fast?!

I expected that in a couple of more years :D
 

SexyChineseLady

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I wasn't expecting that, either. Private orbital launches contribute 30%.
Yes, China needs the private companies to step up in the race against SpaceX.

China was actually leading the US in launches until the SpaceX Falcon 9 revved up and now it is increasing its lead.

But China has not started its mega-constellations like Starlink yet :D

IMG_2120.png
 

skywatcher

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China targets 2030 for Mars sample return mission, potential landing areas revealed

HELSINKI — China is making progress towards a 2030 launch for its Tianwen-3 Mars sample return mission and has narrowed down potential landing areas.

Work on China’s Tianwen-3 Mars sample return mission is progressing “relatively smoothly” and will launch around 2030, Sun Zezhou, a senior engineer at the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), told China Central Television (CCTV) March 6. Sun was the chief designer of China’s successful Tianwen-1 Mars orbiter and rover mission.

The update, while short and vague, comes as NASA is reassessing its Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission due to major budget and schedule concerns. A final fiscal year 2024 spending bill deferred a decision on spending for MSR.

China’s Tianwen-3 Mars sample return architecture is a simpler approach than NASA’s, yet is still a very complex mission. Two Long March 5 launches will carry a lander and ascent vehicle and an orbiter and return module respectively. Entry, descent and landing will build on technology used for the Tianwen-1 rover landing.

On the surface, the lander will use a robotic arm to collect surface samples and a drill to collect material from up to two meters below the surface. Either a six-legged crawling robot or an Ingenuity-like helicopter could fly on the mission to add the capacity to collect a more diverse set of samples. The mission targets delivering around 500 grams of Martian samples to Earth.

Sun outlined the main challenges as obtaining rock samples and then taking off from the surface of Mars, followed by a rendezvous and docking in orbit and the transfer of the samples to a reentry module. These require a high degree of autonomy in terms of system design.

The technical foundation is already in place, Sun said. China has Mars entry, descent and landing experience from Tianwen-1. It has also conducted sampling and launch from another planetary body with the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission. Sun added that the samples could help provide answers as to whether there were ever traces of life on Mars.

Sun was speaking on the sidelines of China’s ongoing annual parliamentary sessions in Beijing. His comments provide limited insights into progress of the mission. Chinese officials earlier stated a launch date of 2028, with samples to be returned in 2031. The 2030 statement indicates the mission will miss that Mars launch window. This means a slip of 26 months to the next such opportunity.

Tianwen-3 landing site selection

A recent research article in the journal JGR Planets additionally reveals three preselected landing zones for Tianwen-3. These are Amazonis Planitia, Utopia Planitia—the area within which the Zhurong Tianwen-1 rover landed—and Chryse Planitia.

The paper assesses Martian atmospheric eddies, or movements of air, dust, or water in a circle. It advises that regions with frequent atmospheric eddy occurrences should be avoided for the safety of the Tianwen-3 landing and ascent stages. The paper finds Chryse Planitia to be the optimal landing area for Tianwen-3.

Chryse Planitia, a lowland plain, was an alternative landing area for the Zhurong rover. The circular plain is situated at the eastern end of the vast outflow channel system known as Valles Marineris. It harbors potential evidence of past flowing water on Mars and is thus of astrobiological interest. The Viking 1 lander also set down within Chryse Planitia.

The three areas are between 17 and 30 degrees north latitude, due to energy and lighting requirements. Other constraints include being at least 2,000 meters or preferably 3,000 meters below the average global Martian elevation. This provides the lander with more atmosphere to move through to slow its descent onto the Martian surface. The new paper will likely provide input into the final site selection, but not determine it.

Potential landing ellipses of 50 by 20 kilometers have been identified within these areas, according to presentations at an International Conference of Deep Space Sciences in Hefei, China, in April 2023.

Site selection will also be balanced by science objectives, according to the presentations. The chosen site will need to be considered of astrobiological relevance, with Martian terrain older than 3.5 billion years being prioritized.

Further key priorities are environments suitable for the emergence of life and its preservation such as sedimentary or hydrothermal systems, evidence of past aqueous activity and geological diversity.

Planetary Science Decadal Surveys have recommended returning samples from Mars as a top priority. The report found MSR to be of fundamental strategic importance to NASA, U.S. leadership in planetary science, and international cooperation.
 

skywatcher

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China targets 2030 for Mars sample return mission, potential landing areas revealed

HELSINKI — China is making progress towards a 2030 launch for its Tianwen-3 Mars sample return mission and has narrowed down potential landing areas.

Work on China’s Tianwen-3 Mars sample return mission is progressing “relatively smoothly” and will launch around 2030, Sun Zezhou, a senior engineer at the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), told China Central Television (CCTV) March 6. Sun was the chief designer of China’s successful Tianwen-1 Mars orbiter and rover mission.

The update, while short and vague, comes as NASA is reassessing its Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission due to major budget and schedule concerns. A final fiscal year 2024 spending bill deferred a decision on spending for MSR.

China’s Tianwen-3 Mars sample return architecture is a simpler approach than NASA’s, yet is still a very complex mission. Two Long March 5 launches will carry a lander and ascent vehicle and an orbiter and return module respectively. Entry, descent and landing will build on technology used for the Tianwen-1 rover landing.

On the surface, the lander will use a robotic arm to collect surface samples and a drill to collect material from up to two meters below the surface. Either a six-legged crawling robot or an Ingenuity-like helicopter could fly on the mission to add the capacity to collect a more diverse set of samples. The mission targets delivering around 500 grams of Martian samples to Earth.

Sun outlined the main challenges as obtaining rock samples and then taking off from the surface of Mars, followed by a rendezvous and docking in orbit and the transfer of the samples to a reentry module. These require a high degree of autonomy in terms of system design.

The technical foundation is already in place, Sun said. China has Mars entry, descent and landing experience from Tianwen-1. It has also conducted sampling and launch from another planetary body with the Chang’e-5 lunar sample return mission. Sun added that the samples could help provide answers as to whether there were ever traces of life on Mars.

Sun was speaking on the sidelines of China’s ongoing annual parliamentary sessions in Beijing. His comments provide limited insights into progress of the mission. Chinese officials earlier stated a launch date of 2028, with samples to be returned in 2031. The 2030 statement indicates the mission will miss that Mars launch window. This means a slip of 26 months to the next such opportunity.

Tianwen-3 landing site selection

A recent research article in the journal JGR Planets additionally reveals three preselected landing zones for Tianwen-3. These are Amazonis Planitia, Utopia Planitia—the area within which the Zhurong Tianwen-1 rover landed—and Chryse Planitia.

The paper assesses Martian atmospheric eddies, or movements of air, dust, or water in a circle. It advises that regions with frequent atmospheric eddy occurrences should be avoided for the safety of the Tianwen-3 landing and ascent stages. The paper finds Chryse Planitia to be the optimal landing area for Tianwen-3.

Chryse Planitia, a lowland plain, was an alternative landing area for the Zhurong rover. The circular plain is situated at the eastern end of the vast outflow channel system known as Valles Marineris. It harbors potential evidence of past flowing water on Mars and is thus of astrobiological interest. The Viking 1 lander also set down within Chryse Planitia.

The three areas are between 17 and 30 degrees north latitude, due to energy and lighting requirements. Other constraints include being at least 2,000 meters or preferably 3,000 meters below the average global Martian elevation. This provides the lander with more atmosphere to move through to slow its descent onto the Martian surface. The new paper will likely provide input into the final site selection, but not determine it.

Potential landing ellipses of 50 by 20 kilometers have been identified within these areas, according to presentations at an International Conference of Deep Space Sciences in Hefei, China, in April 2023.

Site selection will also be balanced by science objectives, according to the presentations. The chosen site will need to be considered of astrobiological relevance, with Martian terrain older than 3.5 billion years being prioritized.

Further key priorities are environments suitable for the emergence of life and its preservation such as sedimentary or hydrothermal systems, evidence of past aqueous activity and geological diversity.

Planetary Science Decadal Surveys have recommended returning samples from Mars as a top priority. The report found MSR to be of fundamental strategic importance to NASA, U.S. leadership in planetary science, and international cooperation.
How to bring Mars sample back to Earth
e84d251f95cad1c86baf191e393e6709c93d51f3.jpg
 

skywatcher

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Private launch company LandSpace currently builds one 80 t TQ-15A methalox rocket engine every 10 days

e84d251f95cad1c86baf191e393e6709c93d51f3.jpg
 

skywatcher

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A new 5-diameter reusable rocket is said to have been under development and will fly before 2026. It's going to land like this.

Seriously?
i_f25.png

0060LhdEgy1hmexafu3qgj307h10b0x9.jpg
 

skywatcher

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Private reusable rockets such as Zhuque-3 will continue to have landing legs
View attachment 244173
Zhuque-3 is a private heavy lift LOX/LCH4 powered reusable rocket scheduled to fly in 2025. With a payload capacity of 21.3 t to LEO(expendable) and 18.3 t to LEO(reusable), it will be the most capable private Chinese rocket over the next 15 months.
 

skywatcher

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New Chinese lunar mission on 20 Mar 2024
Payload: three lunar orbiters to support data relay and lunar navigation

Long March 8 & cows
SouthernDynasties.jpg
 

skywatcher

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Not a bad idea as long as orientation is precise with in tolerance or the catching mechanism also has maneuverability to align with rocket orientation otherwise entanglement could be an issue,,,,my bad it seems to have some adjustments on the trapper
It's a compromise between the highly sophisticated chopsticks and the bulky landing legs.
 

omaebakabaka

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It's a compromise between the highly sophisticated chopsticks and the bulky landing legs.
In theory much simpler than aircraft trapping mechanism on a carrier or the landing legs with tradeoff its limited to where this trapper is in place.
 

skywatcher

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Chinese scientists call for focus on asteroid missions
Andrew Jones
March 26, 2024

HELSINKI — China should intensify its asteroid research and focus on sample return mission plans, according to scientists.

China’s future asteroid exploration should focus on “low-cost, high-frequency sample return missions, and emphasize strengthening coordination between missions,” according to a paper published recently in the Chinese Journal of Space Sciences. Establishing scientific design teams can also help better serve China’s future asteroid explorations.

Asteroid studies and exploration can bring new understanding to the solar system’s early stages and potentially the origins of life. This can also open the door for future space resource assessment and utilization and developing asteroid defense strategies.

China is scheduled to launch its first asteroid sample return mission in 2025. The Tianwen-2 mission will target near-Earth object (NEO) 469219 Kamoʻoalewa, collecting samples and returning to Earth around 2.5 years after launch. The mission will notably harness both a touch-and-go technique used by both NASA’s OSIRIS-REx and JAXA’s Hayabusa2, and an anchor-and-attach system featuring drills at the tips of landing legs.

Its first planetary defense mission—a combined asteroid deflection and observation test visiting 2019 VL5, another NEO—will also launch next year.


However, the paper asserts that China’s progress on asteroid research is still in its nascent stages, particularly when compared with its lunar exploration achievements and ambitions. The country is set to launch a first-ever lunar far side sample return mission in May, with plans for lunar south pole missions and an international moon base over the next decade.

A strategic focus on asteroids could contribute to overall understanding of the cosmos but also lay the groundwork for future space resource utilization and planetary defense.

The authors, from institutes including the Institute of Geology and Geophysics and School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, both under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), attempt systematic study of past asteroid exploration missions and their scientific objectives, payload configurations and research outcomes. Their paper discusses development trends and research, focusing on sample return missions such as Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx.

The comprehensive analysis also includes detailed laboratory setups, sample management and distribution, and preliminary analysis processes for samples returned from missions.

The authors posit that the exploitation and utilization of asteroid resources is gradually becoming a key aspect of future deep space exploration. A growing interest in planetary defense missions internationally is also noted.

The paper states there is a pressing need for China to amplify its asteroid research, hinting at vast untapped potential for groundbreaking discoveries and technological innovation. The best strategy should be to sample various types of asteroids at low cost and multiple times, it suggests, as well as combining and coordinating separate observation, sampling, impact and resource missions to achieve the best results.

There is also a call for strengthening international cooperation and coordination. It notes that both the Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx missions organized international teams to conduct detailed research planning on the returned samples before material was returned.



China’s first excursion to an asteroid was a flyby of 4179 Toutatis in 2012. The Chang’e-2 lunar orbiter made the pass as an extended mission objective.
59189926jw1dzwjabbg1pj.jpg


 

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