Expert: China preparing to land astronauts on moon
China is making preparations for a moon landing that will place its astronauts on the lunar surface, according to a senior official at the China Manned Space Agency.
Dong Nengli, head of the agency's technology bureau, said at a news conference at the State Council Information Office in Beijing on Friday that space program planners and engineers are researching the roadmap and technologies for the manned moon landing.
"The results of their work will be seen in due course. Our astronauts will definitely touch down on the moon," he told reporters.
The news conference invited key figures in China's manned space programs, who are also members of the Communist Party of China, to share their stories and thoughts with journalists.
China's space authorities have a long-term plan to land astronauts on the moon and set up at least one scientific station there. They hope to use the manned missions to carry out scientific surveys and technological research, explore ways to develop lunar resources and strengthen the nation's space capabilities.
Zhou Yanfei, deputy chief designer of China's manned space program, said in September 2020 that the country has the capacity to independently land astronauts on the moon because of its technologies, well-trained, innovative professionals and efficient research and management systems.
Toward that goal, Wang Yanan, editor-in-chief of Aerospace Knowledge magazine, said Chinese engineers need to build new, stronger carrier rockets and spacecraft before they arrange a moon-bound journey for Chinese astronauts.
"The nation's current rockets and manned spaceships can't send astronauts to the moon because they are not designed for such mission. We need to design a new rocket, a new spacecraft, a lunar landing capsule, and a new spacesuit fit for moon walk. We also need to upgrade our ground support system that was designed for operations in low-Earth orbit rather than on the lunar surface," he said.
By ZHAO LEI