China to send student experiences to deep space on 2 upcoming missions
China’s upcoming exploration mission to the Lunar South Pole will carry one of more than 500 experiments designed and submitted by students across the country.
China plans to launch its Chang’e 7 spacecraft circa 2024. It will include a lander, rover, orbiter, relay satellite and a small spacecraft jumping to explore the rugged terrain of the lunar craters. The mission is a first part of a grand plan to build a moon base in cooperation with Russia.
Despite the importance of the mission, it will also carry a small experience selected from among those devised by young space enthusiasts from everywhere, from elementary schools to universities.
China’s National Space Administration called for popular science experiments on Chang’e 7 in June 2020 and received 578 designs, including 143 from elementary schools, 206 from colleges, 217 from universities and 12 Besides.
Related: The latest news from the Chinese space program
The CNSA announced earlier this month that 20 projects have been pre-selected. These include experiments with silkworm cocoons hatching, moss rehydration, and oxygen generation using plants with low lunar gravity. A quantum communications payload, an experiment designed to “float” China’s national flag despite vacuum and low gravity, and another hopping spacecraft are also under consideration. Other projects on the shortlist include protection against cosmic rays, and studies on the influence of the lunar gravity environment on the division of embryonic stem cells, and other biology experiments involving plants, insects, fungi and bacteria.
Voting is now open to help select the scientific payload for each mission, with the Web page provide further information and pictures of prospective experiences. The web pages are in Chinese, however, and you may need a WeChat account to vote for an experience.
A similar competition was open send a popular science experiment to China Near-Earth asteroid sample return mission, which plans to launch on the small asteroid Kamo’oalewa in 2024 and also visit a main belt comet after delivering samples to Earth.
Experiments shortlisted for this mission include the use of seismic waves to study the interior of the target asteroid and various impact, landing and sampling experiments. The spacecraft will also measure the change in the asteroid’s orbit to assess the potential to prevent asteroids from hitting Earth. In addition, the spacecraft could also carry a deep space “message in a bottle” in the same spirit as the Pioneer and Traveler assignments and painting experience. Other projects on the shortlist include solar wind detection and various physics tests.
Voting for the experiences of the two missions is open until the end of August 7, Beijing time. The final selection of experiences will be determined by combining the votes and views of a panel of experts.
China in progress Chang’e 4 mission to the far side of the moon also carried out an experiment of a university. A small box containing seeds was monitored for the first lunar day of the mission before the cold of the lunar night ended to the experience.
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