Chang'e 7

Summary

Chang'e 7
Mission typeOrbiter, Lander, lunar rover, flying probe
OperatorCNSA
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerCAST
Start of mission
Launch date2024
RocketChang Zheng 5
Launch siteWenchang
Moon lander
Chang'e 8 →
 

Chang'e 7 (Chinese: 嫦娥七号; pinyin: Cháng'é qīhào) is a planned robotic Chinese lunar exploration mission expected to be launched in 2024 to target the lunar south pole. Like its predecessors, the spacecraft is named after the Chinese moon goddess Chang'e.

Overview

The Chinese Lunar Exploration Program is designed to be conducted in four[1] phases of incremental technological advancement: The first is simply reaching lunar orbit, a task completed by Chang'e 1 in 2007 and Chang'e 2 in 2010. The second is landing and roving on the Moon, as Chang'e 3 did in 2013 and Chang'e 4 did in 2019. The third is collecting lunar samples from the near-side and sending them to Earth, a task for the future Chang'e 5 and Chang'e 6 missions. The fourth phase consists of development of a robotic research station near the Moon's south pole.[1][2][3] The program aims to facilitate a crewed lunar landing in the 2030s and possibly build an outpost near the lunar south pole.[4]

Mission architecture

The Chang’e-7 mission will consist of an orbiter and a lander which will deploy both a lunar rover and a mini-flying probe. A relay satellite will support the mission which could be an uprated version of the Queqiao relay satellite for the ongoing Chang'e 4 lunar far side mission.[5]

Science payloads

Chang’e-7 will carry a total of 23 science payloads and aim to conduct a detailed survey of the environment and resources in the lunar south polar region. Mission goals include a fixed-point landing, building on the Chang'e 4 far side landing. The mini-flying probe will carry out in-situ observations of a permanently shadowed crater. The novel spacecraft will carry a water molecule and hydrogen isotope analyzer payload.[5]

The orbiter will carry a high-resolution stereo-mapping camera, radar and infrared imagers, a neutron and gamma-ray spectrometer and a magnetometer. The relay satellite will assist in Earth-moon Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) measurement and radio astronomy observations. The lander and rover will carry a combination of payloads from earlier Chang’e missions. These include topography and panoramic cameras, ground-penetrating radar and an ultraviolet camera. New experiments will include a seismometer, magnetometer and raman spectrometer.[5]

Launch

The probe will be launched by a Long March 5 rocket in 2024, from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island.[5]

References

  1. ^ a b Chang'e 4 press conference. CNSA, broadcast on 14 January 2019.
  2. ^ China's Planning for Deep Space Exploration and Lunar Exploration before 2030. (PDF) XU Lin, ZOU Yongliao, JIA Yingzhuo. Space Sci., 2018, 38(5): 591-592. doi:10.11728/cjss2018.05.591
  3. ^ A Tentative Plan of China to Establish a Lunar Research Station in the Next Ten Years. Zou, Yongliao; Xu, Lin; Jia, Yingzhuo. 42nd COSPAR Scientific Assembly. Held 14–22 July 2018, in Pasadena, California, USA, Abstract id. B3.1-34-18.
  4. ^ China lays out its ambitions to colonize the moon and build a "lunar palace". Echo Huang, Quartz. 26 April 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Jones, Andrew (5 August 2020). "China is moving ahead with lunar south pole and near-Earth asteroid missions". SpaceNews. Retrieved 5 August 2020.

External links