China will take three steps to develop its space transportation system. For the first step, the existing carrier rocket will be improved. Second, a new generation of carrier rockets will be developed. And thirdly, an innovative space transportation system will be in place to meet the needs of China's space technology strategy and strengthen China's space power.
This is unveiled by Long Lehao, academician of China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology under China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation on April 27.
The seminar, which was concluded on April 27, also disclosed that the timetable for the three stages, orbiting, landing and returning, of China's moon probe project had been set up.
The project, called "Chang'e ", will send a satellite "Chang'e I" to the moon in the first phase which will explore the lunar surface environment, topography, geologic structure and physical field. The second phase will develop and launch a spacecraft to the moon to take on exploration and auto-inspection, which will provide chemical and physical parameters for the selection of the site of the lunar base in the future.
The third phase aims to make and lift up small sampling re-entry cabin, lunar surface sampling apparatus, and robot operation arms. Data offered by the samples and explorations taken by these equipment will be very useful to the manned moon probe and site location of a outpost station on the moon.
Previous posts on the Chinese Lunar Programme :
Space Station announcement
Lunar Probe announcement
China Shoots the Moon