China Eyes Going to Jupiter, Uranus for Next Interplanetary Mission

In recent years, China’s ambitious space program has achieved significant progress. Its next task would be to study asteroids, Jupiter, and Uranus.

China Eyes Going to Jupiter, Uranus for Next Interplanetary Mission

By Aubrey Clarke

When China’s Zhurong rover arrived on Mars this week, it became only the third country to successfully soft-land on the Red Planet.

This view of Jupiter’s turbulent atmosphere from NASA’s Juno spacecraft includes several of the planet’s southern jet streams.

China Wants to Reach Jupiter by 2029

China National Space Administration said China’s space exploration goals are picking up steam, with a mission to reach Jupiter, the solar system’s most giant planet, in 2029.about:blank

The CNSA also stated that the government would explore a comet and collect more moon samples in the coming years and collect samples from Mars and an asteroid.

“In 2029, we will carry out a mission for Jupiter exploration,” Xu Hongliang, secretary-general of the space agency, said on Saturday per South China Morning Post.

The Chinese government had confirmed planned exploratory missions, he said, and they were currently completing permission procedures. After considering the needs of developing engineering technology and addressing scientific interests, Xu said China would primarily focus on Mars exploration before 2030.

According to Xu, the next stage on Mars would be to conduct sampling and return missions in 2028.

The agency outlined China’s intentions for the next few years as the country tries to catch up to the US in space technology, with Zhu Rong’s landing on Mars being a crucial milestone.

China aims to launch two probes to explore the moon’s environment further and collect samples during the next five years. Since 2007, the country has launched five lunar missions, with the first soft landing in 2013. Washington Post said the country became the first country to land on the far side of the moon in 2019.

China and Russia agreed to collaborate on constructing and managing an international lunar research station for scientific study, Science Times reported. China’s space agency also announced that a road map and guidance for potential global partners interested in planning, design, and operation would be made public soon.

By the end of next year, China intends to have completed constructing a crewed space station. The country will also continue to collaborate with other countries, mentioning space programs with Italy, France, and Brazil as examples.about:blank

China’s Recent Achievements For Space Race

China performed a soft landing on the Moon (Chang’e 3) as part of its Chang’e lunar exploration program in recent years, National Geographic said. Only the United States and the erstwhile Soviet Union have done it before.

Apart from the United States and the former Soviet Union, China is the only country to return lunar rocks to Earth via Chang’e 5 and the first to land a rover on the moon’s far side via Chang’e 4 – a mission it completed in 2019.

The future Chinese space station is another expression of the country’s will to explore the cosmos further. The government launched the first core module of the space station into orbit earlier this year after a decade of tests and two prototypes.

However, China was embroiled in controversy over this operation since the core booster stage of the rocket that launched the module was not correctly deorbited.

Many people expressed concerns about China’s China’s ambitious expansion into space, despite uncertainty about where the 18-tonne rocket’s debris might fall. Science Times reported that the rocket landed in the Indian Ocean off the coast of the Maldives, with much of it burning up on re-entry.

Originally published at The science times