06 January 2022
According to CASC's annual work report, China's major space contractor plans to carry out more than 40 space launch missions in 2022. Among the scheduled launches, the most important ones will be the 6 related to the Tiangong space station programme. Mission planners at CASC have said that of the 6 spacecraft for the CSS, the 1st to be launched will be the Tianzhou 4, followed by the SZ-14 crewed spacecraft. Then the 2 space labs - Wentian (Quest for Heavens), and Mengtian (Dreaming of Heavens) - will be lifted to complete the Tiangong station. The Tianzhou 5 will be the 5th, and the final one will be SZ-15.
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29 December 2021
On 29 December 2021, Jim Shell, a scientist with expertise in space surveillance and orbital debris, published on his LinkedIn account an analysis of the Chinese Space Station and Starlink conjunctions from July and October 2021. SpaceWatchGlobal republished his article which summarises the available facts and gives an assessment of the two events. Jim Shell concludes that the incidents are "yet another use case highlighting the lack of international standards and protocols for such events" and "The certain future occurrence of similar events will continue to provide the gentle push necessary to mature this collaboration [between owner operators across international and geopolitical boundaries]."
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01 January 2022
In the afternoon of 1 January 2022, the Shenzhou 13 crew had a live event with 500 students in Beijing, Hong Kong and Macao. The taikonauts answered questions and showed a display of paintings by school students which they took to space and hang in the Tianhe module. The drawings are works by young students from 11 provinces and regions in central and western part of China, including Tibet Autonomous Region and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
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30 December 2021
Zhang Rongqiao, Chief Designer of the Tianwen 1 Mars mission said in an interview with CGTN that the pilot study for Tianwen 2, China's asteroids exploration mission, which started with 2 years ago, concluded with the project design. Tianwen 3, the mission designed to retrieve samples from Mars, is also in the making. Zhang said along with Tianwen 4, the mission to the Jovian system, the two missions have entered the stage of researching key technologies.
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01 January 2022
CNSA published on 1 January 4 images taken by the TW-1 mission, including the 1st full photo of the TW-1 orbiter in orbit around Mars. The colour pictures show the orbiter, the ice cover on Mars’ north pole and a scene of a barren Martian plain. The orbiter’s full picture was taken by a camera released by the craft, which is now about 350 million km away from Earth, the Administration said in a statement. As of 31 December, the TW-1 orbiter has been operational for 526 days and the Zhurong rover for 225 Martian days – well beyond its 3-month life expectancy. The rover had traveled more than 1,400 m. So far, the TW-1mission has obtained and transmitted nearly 540 GB of raw data. Mission controllers confirmed that the probe has still sufficient energy and is in good condition.
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Link to the news item on the CNSA webportal

29 December 2021
China and Russia will sign in 2022 a new space Cooperation Programme for the time period 2023-2027. It will include a plan to create an open and inclusive International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) by 2035, Russia's national space agency Roscosmos told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.
The new programme will also include plans to support the development in 2022 of the ground segment of the both countries' national satellite systems GLONASS and Beidou as well as several projects Roscosmos and CNSA will work on in the coming decades as the two nations join forces to achieve a new level of space exploration.
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