China launches Lunar Lander Design Meant To Send Astronauts To The Moon

HELSINKI -- China revealed a concept for a lunar lander that it hopes will allow astronauts to reach the moon by the end of the decade. 

A model of the Chinese lunar lander was unveiled at an exhibition celebrating three decades of China’s human spaceflight program was held at Beijing's National Museum of China. 

This model shows China working on a staged down concept that is different from Apollo landings. The propulsion stage will be used to complete the descent before the lander segment makes a soft landing and powered descent on the lunar surface.

The propulsion stage will make a separate landing and must mitigate any debri dangers. The lander will also serve as an ascent vehicle for the crew to return into lunar orbit and dock with the waiting crew spacecraft. 

According to Chinese space officials, the lander is part of a plan to send two astronauts to the moon's surface by around 2030. Other key elements are being worked on. 

Ji Qiming, assistant director of China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO), stated that "we have made breakthroughs regarding key technologies for new-generation Crew carrier rocket, new-generation crew spacecraft, and the lunar lander, as well as the spacesuit to land on the moon."

China officially announced in 2021 that it would build an International Lunar Research station ( ILR) in the 2030s. The first phase will be robotic, then it will be made suitable for long-term crew habitation.