China's space exploration in 2021 is to start with assembly and testing of the cabins and spaceships of the space station project, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
The core cabin of the space station is scheduled to be launched by a Long March 5B Y2 carrier rocket this spring from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in South China's Hainan Province.
According to CASC, 11 missions will be completed in 2021 and 2022 to launch space station cabins, spacecrafts and spaceships.
At present, researchers of CASC's China Academy of Space Technology are in full swing developing the cabins and have completed primary testing as planned.
In terms of the space cargo project, assembly of Shenzhou XII's recovery and landing systems has been completed to the highest standards to ensure a safe return of Chinese astronauts from the space station.
Testing of assembly of the Long March 2F, Long March 7 and Long March 5B carrier rockets by CASC's China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology is now underway in Beijing and Tianjin.
The three types of rockets will be used in launches of manned spacecraft, cargo spacecraft and the core cabin of the space station.
The Long March 5B Y2 rocket has completed its testing and the Long March 2F Y13 rocket is now under testing with assembly to be completed after the Chinese New Year.
The Long March 7 rocket is still under assembly.
As for the Tianwen-1, China's first unmanned Mars probe, it had traveled in space for about 163 days by Jan 3. Its flight distance exceeds 400 million kilometers and the craft is nearly 130 million kilometers and about 8.3 million kilometers from the Earth and the Mars respectively.
With a total weight of about 5 tons, Tianwen-1 consists of an orbiter and a land rover.
It is scheduled to start braking around Feb 10 and will then enter Mars orbit, making it the first Chinese satellite of the planet.
Researchers responsible for rocket assembly inspect the facilities before testing. [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]
A view of the Long March 7 carrier rocket under assembly [Photo/sasac.gov.cn]