10 November 2014
China’s largest space contractor has unveiled the nation’s first Mars rover and the technological hardware set-up for the race to the red planet, Xinhua reported. The robotic rover was to crawl over the rough Martian terrain with a powerful six-wheel drive, according to the prototype that will be shown by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) during an air show starting tomorrow in Zhuhai, Guangdong. [...] The entire Mars exploration system will include an orbiter, lander and the rover, according to the CASC.
09 November 2014
China's new upper stage aircraft for multistage rockets, dubbed the "space shuttle bus," will make its debut at the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai this week, reports the Chinese-language Beijing Morning Post. Developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the main contractor for the Chinese space program, the upper stage aircraft will be attached to a carrier rocket and can be used to propel payload in space using its own power system after reaching an initial orbit.
07 November 2014
A Chinese space expert has touted the value of the country's role in working with Africa on space technologies. "China is keen to support the continent to develop technological applications for observation and communications satellites," said Li Meng of the China Academy of Space Technology. [...] The space academy organized a short training course on managing space programs and satellite technology applications for 18 candidates from Argentina, Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mongolia, Pakistan, Qatar, Sudan and Thailand.
05 November 2014
An earlier assumption on the European part of the GoTaikonauts! team that the latest Chinese lunar mission, Chang’e 5 T1, was the renamed Chang'e 4 mission was incorrect. Chang'e 4 is the back-up craft of Chang'e 3 and therefore features an identical design as Chang'e 3. What we have seen with Chang’e 5 T1 is something very different, as the Chinese part of the GoTaikonauts! team has been pointing out. The Chang'e 4 spacecraft is still sitting in a clean room and is waiting for a decision for its destination. Possible options are a repetition of the Chang'e 3 mission but it may also turn out that China will surprise the world again, like it happened occasionally before ...
More on this topic in the next issue of the GoTaikonauts! newsletter to be published end of November/beginning of December.
For further clarification, see also the explanatory infographics provided at Space.com