I saw this last evening on Space News – China’s moon, Mars and space station missions may be facing delays: https://spacenews.com/chinas-moon-mars-and-space-station-missions-may-be-facing-delays/. Highlighted some key points, but there’s a lot of information in the link that I didn’t include below.
HELSINKI — China’s major space missions including a lunar sample return, Mars orbiter and rover and a modular space station could be facing delays due to an apparent issue affecting rockets required for launches.
There has been no official or media update on the status of the planned July mission. This correspondent has been informed by figures close to the Chinese aerospace industry that online discussion of the matter has been discouraged and could deleted by China’s internet censorship apparatus.
Space station delay possible
A variant of this rocket, the Long March 5B, is also being developed to facilitate the launch of 20-metric-ton space station modules to low Earth orbit. As it uses the same engines and similar cores, its test flight is dependent on a successful return-to-flight of the Long March 5.
A joint June 12 announcement by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) revealed that nine international experiments had been selected for a place aboard the CSS, maintaining that the target for completion of the three-module complex remains to be ‘around 2022’.
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