The three young women behind China's Chang'e 5 lunar mission
Three days after China successfully launched the Chang’e 5 spacecraft to the moon, three women who were instrumental in its landing have been catapulted into the limelight. The Chinese state broadcaster praised the trio’s efforts, a cultural moment similar to the 2016 American film Hidden Figures. The film celebrated three trailblazing African American women mathematicians and engineers working for The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the 1960s.    In this Chinese real-life version of Hidden Figures, one of the women, Zhou Chengyu, a 24-year-old commander of the rocket connector system in the moon exploration program, quickly became a trending topic on China’s Twitter-
China’s deep-space antenna tunes into Mars mission
China's first deep-space antenna array system has been put into use at the Kashgar satellite monitoring station in western China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Four antenna dishes, each measuring about 115ft in diameter, form the newly commissioned system. The array has already been put to work supporting the Mars exploration mission of the Chinese probe Tianwen-1.   
China launches its first Mars probe
China launched its first independent probe to Mars on Thursday, joining a growing number of countries aiming to lead exploration of Earth’s nearest neighbor. The probe, named Tianwen-1, was launched from the southern island of Hainan and is expected to reach Mars’ gravitational field next February, according to Chinese media. If the 5-tonne probe makes a successful landing on the fourth planet from the sun, it is expected to work for at least 90 Mars days – a little longer than three months on Earth. Tianwen-1 – the name means “questions to heaven” in Mandarin, inspired by an ancient poem by Qu Yuan – consists of an orbiter, a lander and a rover. The lander and rover will attempt a soft land
China completes satellite navigation system
China’s final BeiDou-3 satellite for its global navigation system was launched on June 23, 2020, at 9.43am, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in the southwest province of Sichuan. A Long March 3B rocket carried the satellite into orbit, completing the third-generation network for the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System. BeiDou is the fourth major global satellite navigation system, following GPS built by the US, Russia's Glosnass and the European Union's Galileo.
Chinese astronomers discover black hole so big that it shouldn’t exist
Chinese astronomers have discovered a black hole in the Milky Way that current scientific theory says is too big to exist. Scientists from the National Astronomical Observatory of China say the find, dubbed LB-1, has 70 times the mass of the sun, even though physics says that is impossible. “We were so shocked we could not believe what we saw,” researcher Liu Jifeng said in Beijing on Thursday. He said he and his colleagues consulted astronomers from around the world and after three years of fact-checking announced their find in an article published by the scientific journal Nature. Present theory says that stars are made up of various elements, ranging from light gas to heavy metals. Lighte
China’s Mars mission passes landing test for 2020 launch
China has completed a test of its Mars lander, placing the country on track for its first mission to the red planet next year. In the span of several decades, China has emerged from an economic backwater to a rising space power, with recent breakthroughs including the landing of a rover on the far side of the moon. In developing its Mars mission, China is following in the footsteps of the US, which in the 1970s successfully put the Viking landers on Mars and last landed a rover there in November 2018 in its InSight mission.  China’s space program could contribute to international efforts to understand the climate and natural resources on Mars. While it is cold (the average temperature is ab
China is one step closer to developing reusable rockets
China got closer to being able to land a rocket after it successfully tested the use of SpaceX-style grid fins to steer a spent booster to a target site late last month. The technology could help China develop reusable rockets like SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and drive down launch costs as the country has ramped up its space program.  Grid fins are aerodynamic control surfaces that are folded during launch but deployed in flight to control a rocket’s re-entry. China on July 26 launched a Long March 2C rocket with the steering devices for the first time and crash-landed its spent booster at a landing spot in Guizhou province in the country’s southwest, state-run Science and Technology Daily has report
China’s ‘artificial sun’ is about to get a whole lot hotter
Chinese scientists developing a nuclear fusion reactor – or so-called artificial sun – are set to get a new research center this year in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province. China is among the world’s leading players in the development of fusion technology – which has the potential to generate an endless supply of clean energy – and plans to develop a reactor for large-scale commercial use by 2050. The principal challenge for scientists is how to control the energy they produce. In the new center, researchers will be able to carry out “unprecedented experiments in extreme environments,” CNNC said. Critical to the new center’s work is the “HL-2M machine,” a device capable o
China launches rocket from ship for first time
China launched a rocket into space from a civilian cargo ship on Wednesday, in its first rocket launch at sea. In doing so, China has also become the first nation to fully own and operate a floating sea launch platform, which could significantly reduce the cost and risk of space missions. One of China’s Long March 11 rockets, named “CZ-11 WEY,” blasted off from the ship in the Yellow Sea at noon Beijing time. About six minutes later, five commercial satellites and a pair of “technical experiment” probes – called Bufeng, or Wind Catchers – reached their designated orbits. “Launching a rocket from the sea has the advantages of high flexibility, good adaptability for specific tasks, and excelle
China’s lunar rover finds proof the moon has a mantle
For decades, scientists have believed the moon has a mantle, just like the Earth. Now, China’s lunar rover, Yutu, has discovered the first evidence. “Now we have it,” said Professor Li Chunlai, deputy director of the National Astronomical Observatory of China and a lead scientist on the Chang’e-4 mission that put Yutu, or Jade Rabbit as it is known in English, on the moon. Scientists have long suspected that the moon has a mantle under its crust. But previous lunar explorations, including the US Apollo missions, had failed to provide direct proof. The new findings, published in the latest issue of the journal Nature on Thursday, answer some fundamental questions about the moon, such as its