HELSINKI — China has outlined a proposed architecture for getting astronauts to the moon and back as part of plans for long-term lunar exploration.
A presentation at the 2020 China Space Conference in September details infrastructure including a new launch vehicle, new-generation spacecraft and a lunar lander, along with a potential lunar orbit module and crewed roving vehicle.
The prospective mission profile laid out in the presentation involves separate launches of crewed spacecraft and a lunar landing stack. The two would then rendezvous and dock once in lunar orbit before descending to the lunar surface.
A service module would remain in low lunar orbit and rendezvous with an ascent vehicle designed to carry astronauts from the moon’s surface.
There is no official word from China stating that a crewed lunar landing program has been approved. No timeline was offered at the event held in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province.