At the November meeting of the ISECG, representatives from the China National Space Administration (CNSA) shared plans for the lunar exploration mission Chang’e-3, subsequent robotic missions to the Moon and Mars and the Chinese space station programme.
Chang’e 3 launched on 2 December 2013 and landed on the Moon on 14 December 2013, marking the first time a Chinese spacecraft has soft-landed on the surface of an extra-terrestrial body. The lunar lander and rover will conduct scientific investigation of the Moon using a suite of instruments. The mission is part of China’s unmanned lunar exploration programme and will be followed by the return of lunar samples to Earth.
Along with the planned robotic missions of other ISECG participating agencies, the Chinese missions are depicted in the info-graphic below. Each mission is expected to contribute information important to planning and risk reduction for future international human missions.
CNSA participated in the development of the Global Exploration Strategy in 2007 and has been a member of ISECG since its inception. CNSA will recommend experts to the Exploration Roadmap Working Group of ISECG and expects to participate actively in ISECG activities in 2014.
To download the recently released Global Exploration Roadmap, click here.