10 March 2018
Chinese scientists are considering setting up smaller radio telescopes surrounding FAST to increase array resolution, authorities said. According to the FAST observation station with the National Astronomical Observatories, two to 10 radio telescopes measuring 30 meters in diameter may be set up around FAST, the world's largest single-dish radio telescope. The resolution of the array will be around 100 times greater than currently.
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07 March 2018
Highly respected space expert and space analyst Anatoly Zak writes in an article for Popular Mechanics, that Russia might get closer to China's space programme on the cost of its cooperation with the U.S. He writes: "Last month Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos State Corporation, began work on a contingency plan that would reshape its future in space exploration. The country could shift its human spaceflight cooperation from the U.S. to China, sources within Roscosmos told Popular Mechanics. One possible scenario includes Roscosmos exiting the International Space Station program early. Russian experts were instructed to put forward ideas by March 15, including concepts for potential contributions to the planned Chinese space station along with a joint Russian-Chinese plans to send humans to the Moon. If adopted, the new strategy would mark a historic moment for the Russian space program, which has cooperated with the U.S. for nearly three decades."
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07 March 2018
The China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC) revealed that it is researching an aerospace plane and "solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicles". China plans to launch a homegrown, reusable space plane in a project codenamed "Tengyun Project" (or Cloud Riding Project). The spacecraft, now at an early stage of research, can transport people or a payload into orbit from an ordinary airport and then return to Earth.
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05 March 2018
China will complete the construction and fitting work of a prototype of its 500-t liquid rocket engine within this year, Liu Zhirang, Head of the No.6 Research Institute of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), who is also a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, said on 5 March, China's Science and Technology Daily reported. Liu said China is currently tackling problems on key technologies of three types of liquid rocket engines for its heavy-lift rockets - they are the 500-ton engine fueled by liquid oxygen and kerosene, 200-t and 25-t engines using liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen as fuel, and the country has also completed thermal tests on core modules together with some sub-models for the engines.
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07 March 2018
China launched a scaled-down model of a multi-purpose, re-usable space plane from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in Inner Mongolia, as part of its race to develop space travel technology. The hypersonic space drone lifted off, accelerated to more than five times the speed of sound and reached orbital altitude before returning safely to ground, according to a researcher with knowledge of the experiment. China’s goal was to develop a space plane for both military and civilian missions, capable of travelling fast enough to penetrate missile defence systems and with the heft to help rebuild satellite networks or lift tourists to space. Development of the prototype was led by the China Aerodynamics Research and Development Centre in Mianyang, Sichuan province. Also known as Base 29, the military-run facility has some of the most advanced wind tunnels for hypersonic research in the country.
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05 March 2018
China is planning to build a base on the Moon, according to Zhao Xiaojin, Party Chief of the China Academy of Space Technology at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). In the initial stages, the planned Moon base will be controlled by artificial intelligence robots, and after a manned lunar-landing, it will be occasionally managed by human beings. The unmanned base on the Moon will greatly improve lunar exploration efficiency, as it will be able to provide many facilities that can be used for thorough scientific research, Jiao Weixin, a space science professor at Peking University, told the Global Times on 04 March. Compared to the U.S.'s space station in lunar orbit (Deep-Space Gateway; now called: Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway (LOP-G)), China's Moon base will be more practical and efficient in conducting research, said Jiao, explaining that human beings in lunar orbit play only a limited role in lunar surface expeditions.
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