Saturday, February 24, 2024

China Names Its Crewed Moon Exploration Vehicles Mengzhou & Lanyue

China Names Its Crewed Moon Exploration Vehicles Mengzhou & Lanyue

The China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) on Feb. 24, 2024, unveiled the official names of the new vehicles for its future crewed lunar exploration missions. After an open solicitation and selection, the new-generation crewed spacecraft and the lunar lander for the missions were named Mengzhou and Lanyue, respectively.

According to an earlier report, China plans to land its astronauts on the moon before 2030. The plan is to launch two carrier rockets to send a lunar lander and a manned spacecraft, respectively, to a lunar orbit. The craft and the lunar lander will rendezvous and dock with each other, and then astronauts will enter the lander.

The names of the new vehicles were solicited from the public in an event launched last August, which drew enthusiastic participation from across the country. The two names chosen were selected from nearly 2,000 submissions.

"The names Mengzhou and Lanyue of the two new space vehicles carry distinct characteristics of China and the times, and have rich cultural connotations. The manned spacecraft Mengzhou and the lunar lander Lanyue, together with the Long March-10 carrier rocket, will carry forward Chinese people's dream of exploring the vast universe and reaching the moon," said Ji Qiming, director assistant of the CMSEO.

The new-generation spacecraft Mengzhou has two versions—one for lunar exploration and the other for carrying astronauts to China's space station.

Video Credit: China Manned Space Agency (CMSA)/CCTV

Duration: 1 minute, 46 seconds

Release Date: Feb. 24, 2024

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