Author Topic: Chinese space science missions  (Read 1339 times)

Offline plutogno

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Chinese space science missions
« on: 07/28/2018 06:25 AM »
with new Chinese space science missions (in addition to lunar and planetary ones) announced every year I thought it was time to open a dedicated thread.

Chinese Solar Physics Gliding into the Space Age
http://engine.scichina.com/publisher/scp/journal/SCPMA/doi/10.1007/s11433-018-9282-y?slug=abstract

Quote
On May 4, 2018, as the chief engineer signed his name on the Review Report, the Solar Hα Imaging Spectrometer spacecraft was finally approved by the Chinese Space Agency. This is the second spacecraft designated for solar observations in China, coming on the heels of the Advanced Space-born Solar Observatory (ASO-S), which was approved by the Chinese Academy of Sciences on December 29, 2017. The approval of the two space missions for solar observations marks a milestone for the Chinese solar physics to glide into the space age.

Offline Blackstar

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« Last Edit: 08/15/2018 08:56 PM by Blackstar »


Offline Blackstar

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Re: Chinese space science missions
« Reply #3 on: 09/05/2018 04:39 PM »
Just got some info that the Chinese are now considering an asteroid sample return similar to Hyabusa and OSIRIS-REx. Will post more here later.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Chinese space science missions
« Reply #4 on: 09/08/2018 01:36 PM »
So I think that this represents only a basic concept for a Chinese asteroid sample return mission, not anything specific.

The way that China decides upon planetary missions is rather obscure. I don't understand it, and I think that even if I tried really hard I would not be able to understand it. But I think that the organization that generates mission concepts and proposals is not in charge. They're like a contractor. So they can come up with an idea, but another organization has to agree, and then they give it back to the original to implement. The analogy might be like JPL proposing missions to NASA, and then if NASA agrees, they tell JPL to do it. But probably way more complex than that.
« Last Edit: 09/08/2018 05:24 PM by Blackstar »

Offline vjkane

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Re: Chinese space science missions
« Reply #5 on: 09/08/2018 02:30 PM »
So I think that this represents only a basic concept for a Chinese asteroid sample return mission, not anything specific.

The way that China decides upon planetary missions is rather obscure. I don't understand it, and I think that even if I tried really hard I would not be able to understand it. But I think that the organization that generates mission concepts and proposals is not in charge. They're like a contractor. So they can come up with an idea, but another organization has to agree, and then they give it back to the original to implement. The analogy might be like JPL proposing missions to NASA, and then if NASA agrees, they tell JPL to do it. But probably way more complex than that.
NASA, ESA, JAXA, and apparently the Chinese, generate lots of mission concepts and then have processes to select the few they fly such as direct competitions (e.g., Discovery, ESA M & L missions) or review panels (e.g., Decdadal Survey).  Other space agencies probably do the same, but I don't understand how Russia, for example, chooses its lunar and planetary missions.

I sometimes find it hard with some space agencies to know when a mission is still in the proposal stage or has been approved and funded for development for flight.  It may be really clear to someone who speaks the language and has access to local news sources, but it can be hard to tell from presentations given periodically in English.


Offline Blackstar

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Re: Chinese space science missions
« Reply #6 on: 09/08/2018 02:33 PM »
So I think that this represents only a basic concept for a Chinese asteroid sample return mission, not anything specific.

The way that China decides upon planetary missions is rather obscure. I don't understand it, and I think that even if I tried really hard I would not be able to understand it. But I think that the organization that generates mission concepts and proposals is not in charge. They're like a contractor. So they can come up with an idea, but another organization has to agree, and then they give it back to the original to implement. The analogy might be like JPL proposing missions to NASA, and then if NASA agrees, they tell JPL to do it. But probably way more complex than that.
NASA, ESA, JAXA, and apparently the Chinese, generate lots of mission concepts and then have processes to select the few they fly such as direct competitions (e.g., Discovery, ESA M & L missions) or review panels (e.g., Decdadal Survey).  Other space agencies probably do the same, but I don't understand how Russia, for example, chooses its lunar and planetary missions.

I sometimes find it hard with some space agencies to know when a mission is still in the proposal stage or has been approved and funded for development for flight.  It may be really clear to someone who speaks the language and has access to local news sources, but it can be hard to tell from presentations given periodically in English.



I think that the Chinese program is a bit different. I don't think they generate as many initial mission concepts. My coworker knows a bit more about this than I do. But I think that one of the key points is that we think that this is an authoritarian society and therefore they have an orderly, very hierarchical process for producing decisions about what to fly. But it's not like that. It's a bit more messy and abstract.

Offline plutogno

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Re: Chinese space science missions
« Reply #7 on: 09/08/2018 04:53 PM »
by the way, you can find all the issues of Taikong (in English and in pdf format) here:
http://www.issibj.ac.cn/Publications/Forum_Reports/201404/t20140404_119042.html

Offline vjkane

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Re: Chinese space science missions
« Reply #8 on: 09/08/2018 06:12 PM »
So I think that this represents only a basic concept for a Chinese asteroid sample return mission, not anything specific.

The way that China decides upon planetary missions is rather obscure. I don't understand it, and I think that even if I tried really hard I would not be able to understand it. But I think that the organization that generates mission concepts and proposals is not in charge. They're like a contractor. So they can come up with an idea, but another organization has to agree, and then they give it back to the original to implement. The analogy might be like JPL proposing missions to NASA, and then if NASA agrees, they tell JPL to do it. But probably way more complex than that.

From the wording of the text, it appears that one asteroid sample return is in the approved plan of missions while a second one is under consideration.

Some interesting quotes from the issue:

China  prepares  to  select and fly full-scale sample  return  missions   from  small  bodies  as  a  component of its 14th five- year plan for priority space science missions.

China has a comprehensive Lunar and deep space exploration program. Besides orbital remote sensing and lander and rover in situ measurements, 4 sample return missions have been planned, i.e. two lunar Sample Return missions, one Mars Sample Return mission and one asteroid Sample Return mission.

China is conducting and planning the next phase of lunar exploration, after Chang’e-1, -2, -3 and -5 missions, which aims to explore the far side of the Moon and the Lunar South Pole. Except for Chang’e-4 that will land in the Von Karman crater within the South Pole Aitken basin (SPA), all other 3 missions will land at the South Pole of the Moon. The South Pole has unique merits for establishing a research station on the Moon, including long time of illumination, easy approaching possible water ice in the permanently shadowed craters. Of the three lunar South Pole missions, one is designed to return samples. The high priority scientific goal is to determine the age of SPA basin, which is expected older than 4 billion years.

Offline Blackstar

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Re: Chinese space science missions
« Reply #9 on: 09/08/2018 07:48 PM »

From the wording of the text, it appears that one asteroid sample return is in the approved plan of missions while a second one is under consideration.


I think that the "approved" one is not really approved in the way we think. So it's likely, but not a slam dunk yet.

Offline vjkane

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Re: Chinese space science missions
« Reply #10 on: 09/09/2018 03:36 PM »

From the wording of the text, it appears that one asteroid sample return is in the approved plan of missions while a second one is under consideration.


I think that the "approved" one is not really approved in the way we think. So it's likely, but not a slam dunk yet.
I'm hoping that someone on this board can add to this discussion with local knowledge.

My sense is that the Russian and Chinese space science programs are approved as multi-year plans that include multiple missions that will receive their funding and launches in an approved sequence.  It's not clear to me whether or not subsequent reviews and approvals are needed for each element in the plan such as the Chinese asteroid mission.

What does appear to be clear is that China plans to have a major planetary science program.  Even just the lunar, 2020 Mars orbiter and rover, and the sample return missions discussed in this document would put it second only to the US.  It may exceed the US in the number of flights (depending on how much of the plan is flown and what missions are approved by the US in the coming dozen years).

Here's the list from the Chinese documents:

Chang'E 4 - lunar far side lander
Chang'E 5 - lunar near side sample return
Chang'E 6 - lunar south pole
Chang'E 7 - South Pole-Aitken sample return (using CE 5 backup hardware)
Chang'E 8 - lunar south pole
[the two documents (see below) differ in whether the SPA sample return would be named CE 6 or 7]

2020 Mars orbiter
2020 Mars rover
before 2030 Mars sample return

before 2030 asteroid sample return

US program (from memory; please let me know what I have missed)

2020 Mars rover
2021 Lucy Trojan asteroid flyby
2022 Psyche orbiter
early/mid 2020's Europa Clipper
mid-2020's next New Frontiers*
mid-2020's next Discovery*
[In budget plans and selection in progress or has a firm schedule]
??? Europa lander

To the US list might be added:
mid/late 2020's Mars sample return
late 2020's another New Frontiers
late 2020's another Discovery mission

As Blackstar points out, it's not clear how firm all the Chinese missions are.  Some may be like the US Mars sample return or the late 2020's Discovery and New Frontiers -- NASA is working towards them or they would be the natural progression of current policies, but formal approval either hasn't happened (Mars sample return, Europa lander) or projection of current policies and budgets (future Discovery and New Frontiers).

However, the focus of the


Sources for Chinese missions:
http://www.issibj.ac.cn/Publications/Forum_Reports/201404/P020180702531094742236.pdf
http://www.issibj.ac.cn/Publications/Forum_Reports/201404/P020180724823757141746.pdf


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