Great Hiking on the moon

China completed test heavy carrier rocket “Changzheng-5” (“long March 5”), which will be the basis for its lunar missions. Federal news Agency – at what level is the celestial space.

About the end of the test “Changzheng-5” according to the Chinese media. The development of these rockets was originally planned to be completed in 2008, but funding was only allocated in 2007. In the end, the first tests began in September of last year, and the first test flight is scheduled for September. In 2017 it is planned with the help of this rocket launch to the Earth return vehicle “Chang’e-5” to collect the local soil.

“Changzheng-5” refers to the basic Chinese family of rockets, named in honor of the legendary long March of the Communists in the Civil war in China. “Changzheng-1” was created on the basis of a ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead “Dongfeng-4”, launched in 1970 the first Chinese satellite. In fact, from this time begins the history of taikonautti – space Chinese.

However, prior to the 1990-2000-ies the development of the Chinese space was neither good, nor bad. And only in the last 10-20 years there was a serious success. But the speed of development was downright cosmic.

As for the lunar component, it razrabotala officially launched in 2004 under the name “Chang’e Program” – in honor of a Chinese deity of the moon. Already in 2007, “Changzheng-3A” was launched to orbit the earth satellite vehicle “Chang’e-1,” which for two years were three-dimensional map of the surface. In 2010 it was replaced by a new module involved in the choice of location for planting his successor.

In 2013, “Chang’e-3” made a soft landing on the moon and brought lunar Rover “WiTu”, got its name in honor of another mythological character, the constant companion of the goddess Chang’e lunar hare. “Hare” is, unfortunately for Chinese scientists, and rode short, and nothing noteworthy was done. Therefore, tentatively in 2018 will be sent to the backup mission with the fourth sequence number.

“Chang’e-5”, as mentioned above, will next year collect and deliver to Earth lunar soil. Everything else is still quite hazy and will begin no earlier than 2020. This is significantly more modest voiced earlier over-ambitious plans to build on the moon by 2020 or a little later, fully manned station, or even entertainment complex.

Similar situation is in other segments of China’s space program. Studies of the Solar system the Chinese can’t boast. Here you can mention is that “inho-1” – small interplanetary station, which name in translation means, and Firefly, and one of the ancient Chinese nicknames of the planet Mars (to which China is really good, so it is with poetic titles). Alas, she has become a hostage of Russian space failures: it was planned to send to Mars from Baikonur together with our probe “Phobos-Grunt”, but both devices are unable to leave earth orbit and in the beginning of 2012 burned in the atmosphere.

The main efforts of specialists of the Chinese space industry focused on the program of manned flight “Shenzhou” (“the Magic boat”), – “Project 921”. The works were commenced in 1992. By 1999, managed to create the eponymous spaceship, very much like Soviet and Russian manned spacecraft “Soyuz”. Similar to such a degree that in a few years, five employees of one of the Russian space enterprises have been arrested on suspicion of espionage in favor of China and the transfer (or rather, selling), he technology, one of them got a big prison sentence.

The first four “Shenzhou” were unmanned, and during the fifth orbital flight in 2003 in the space was the first taikonaut Jan leva . To date, there were 10 flights, a second crew of three, sent into orbit in 2012, was the first woman Liu Yang taikonaut .

In the framework of the same program gradually is building a Chinese space station “Tiangong” (“heavenly Palace”). The Palace is, frankly, not very roomy – in fact, it slightly increased “Shenzhou”, residential volume is 15 cubic meters. Here, too, there were plagiarism (this time without the crime): the project is very similar to a series of Soviet orbital stations “salute”, which later became the basic for major station Mir and the ISS Russian segment.

In 2011-2013 to “Tangguo-1” went three of the last flight of “Shenzhou” (including two with taikonauts on Board). And in the next three years is planned to test a couple of the “Heavenly palaces” some more so then on their basis to create a complete orbital complex. This should happen around 2023.

In addition, China has its own satellite navigation system Beidou, the deployment of which is carried out since 2000. At the moment it only covers the PRC and neighboring areas.

If you summarize, the Chinese space successes can be called significant, but not impressive. The country has managed in a relatively short time to occupy a dominant position in the region (along with Japan), but to get rid of space superpowers until early.

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