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December 9-15, 2019 / Vol 38, No 49 / Hawai’i Island, USA

6 Dec 2019, 20:28 UTC
December 9-15, 2019 / Vol 38, No 49 / Hawai’i Island, USA
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China / Zhongguo Long March 5 Return to Flight Vital For 2020s Chang’e Moon, Mars, Human Missions

The 3rd heavy-lift Long March 5 (LM-5) rocket is scheduled to launch December 27 from China newest and most southern launch center at Wenchang, Hainan Island 19° N. Carrying 8,000-kg Shijian 20 tech demo satellite into geosynchronous orbit, it will be the first LM-5 flight in ~30 months. Success is critical for China 2020 commitments to launch its first lunar sample return mission Chang’e-5, first Mars mission Huǒxīng-1 (Mars-1) of a rover and orbiter July 23, conduct variant Long March 5B test, and fly next-gen human spacecraft. CE-5 is expected to launch NET July 2020 to Mons Rümker Region 40.8° N, 58.1° W and return to Earth within one month. Back-up CE-6 could launch to collect samples near Moon South Pole after CE-7 lands on Shackleton Rim NET 2023. CE-8 may be the final robotic mission before China lands humans on the Moon. 21st Century China / International / USA Artemis collaboration for Moon Village settlement could be on the horizon. CE-6 will have international payloads aboard. Data from far-side CE-4 and its 4 international payloads is expected to be shared publicly; similar ...

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