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China approves Phase-4 moon mission with int’l lunar research station

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Phase four of China’s lunar exploration program has obtained state approval and is proceeding smoothly, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Saturday, following the country’s announcement of the discovery of new mineral Changesite-(Y) on September 9.

The Phase-4 lunar mission, consisting of the Chang’e-6, -7, and -8, is to be carried out successively in 10 years with the aims of exploring the moon’s South Pole region and building a basic structure for the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), said Liu Jizhong, director of Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center under the CNSA.

The Chang’e-6 will be sent to retrieve samples from the far side of the moon and return them to Earth.

“The production of the Chang’e-6 probe has almost been completed. To better understand the moon, given that the Chang’e-4 went to the far side of the moon for the first time, we, after discussions with engineers and scientists, decided to have the Chang’e-6 probe to retrieve samples from the far side of the moon and return them to Earth. So the samples will be much more valuable,” Liu told China Media Group (CMG).

The fourth phase of China’s lunar exploration program has obtained state approval and is proceeding smoothly, the China National Space Administration announced on September 10, 2022. /CMG

According to the CNSA, the exploration of the South Pole will be completed by Chang’e-6 and -7, while Chang’e-8 will feature key technologies for lunar surface tests and preliminary exploration for the construction of the ILRS.

Liu said the Chang’e-7 probe is under development.

“The purpose of our missions is to lay the foundation for building a lunar station, so there are a lot of technologies to be tackled and we need to explore the energy on the moon. Great challenges lay ahead of us. However, with our previous experiences and an excellent team, I believe we will succeed.”

Read More:

Director of China’s Lunar Exploration Program: Lunar sample findings have great significance

(L-R) Images of the Chang’e-1, Chang’e-2, Chang’e-3 and Chang’e-4 probes. /CGTN

China’s lunar probe missions

China launched four lunar missions between 2007 and 2019 under the country’s lunar exploration program, known as the Chang’e Project after the Chinese moon goddess.

China’s first lunar probe, the Chang’e-1, was launched in October 2007. It was a lunar-orbiting spacecraft that worked 200 kilometers above the moon. Gathering a huge amount of data, it marked the first step of China’s ambitious three-step moon mission.

The Chang’e-2 probe, which was launched in 2010, traveled more than 100 million kilometers from Earth, setting a record for the longest flight by a Chinese spacecraft.

In 2013, the Chang’e-3 became China’s first spacecraft to soft-land on the moon and the Yutu rover drove on the moon.

In 2018, the Chang’e-4 landed on the far side of the moon, the first spacecraft to do so.

The Chang’e-5 probe landed on Earth with 1,731 grams of samples from the moon in 2020, marking the completion of China’s first attempt to retrieve and return samples from the moon.

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World’s largest clean energy corridor supplies China with electricity

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As a strong cold wave hits China, the national electricity load has continued to climb. In the face of the coming peak electricity consumption, power companies have made every effort to ensure a safe and stable supply of electricity.

The world’s largest clean energy corridor along China’s Yangtze River produced over 276 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity last year, up 5.34 percent year on year. The increase is equivalent to reducing standard coal consumption by around 83 million tonnes and lowering carbon dioxide emissions by more than 200 million tonnes.

The corridor, consisting of six mega hydropower stations, was completed in December 2022, with the Baihetan hydropower station in its upper section fully operational.

The other five stations along the corridor are the Wudongde, Xiluodu, Xiangjiaba, Three Gorges and Gezhouba power stations.

The six hydropower plants transmit electricity from the resource-rich west to energy-consuming regions in the east, with a total installed capacity of around 71.7 million kilowatts.

The corridor can generate electricity from a single drop of water six times, with an average annual clean energy output of about 300 billion kilowatt-hours, which can meet the annual electricity consumption needs of more than 300 million people.

Source(s): CGTN

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China plays leading role in world’s transition towards renewable energies: IRENA

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China is playing a leading role in the world’s just transition towards renewable energies, the Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Gauri Singh told Xinhua on Monday on the sidelines of the ongoing World Governments Summit in Dubai.

“China has always played a very important role in renewable energy,” Singh said while extending her greetings to the Chinese people for the Chinese New Year, which falls on February 10.

“The Year of the Dragon embodies the spirit of courage, vitality, and ambition. We all need to be ambitious in how we view our common future and the future of the planet,” she said.

The IRENA, with 169 members, is a leading global intergovernmental organization to promote world renewable transition, support countries in their energy transitions, and provide up-to-date data and analyses on green tech innovation, policy, finance and investment.

Thanks to China’s role as a hub for manufacturing, which drives down green transition costs, a large number of countries were able to advance their national plans more smoothly, according to Singh.

According to the IRENA’s Renewable Capacity Statistics 2023 published in March last year, China accounted for about 48 percent of the increase in global total renewable capacity in 2022.

Two-thirds of the new hydropower capacity, 45 percent of the new solar capacity, half of the new wind capacity, and 57 percent of the new bioenergy capacity in 2022 were installed in China.

“The beauty of what China does is that they just go and just get it done. I think that is a very important aspect of how they’re also looking at international collaboration and cooperation,” Singh said.

Singh added, however, there are three main challenges for the world to overcome in the renewable energy sector.

“One is that we still don’t have the infrastructure in place to support the transition from centralized power plants to renewable energy,” she explained.

“The second remains that this is a sector that’s policy-driven. Policies need to be in place and they need to enable the transition to happen.”

Thirdly, Singh said that more manpower and skills will be required to support the transition.

“We need to make sure that it’s a just energy transition. We can’t leave behind certain parts of the world and move forward because that’s not how it will happen,” she said.

“The role China plays in supporting a lot of developing countries to be able to reform and to build assets in the new energy system is incredible. If that continues and more of it happens, then we will really be able to talk about a just energy transition.”

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hosting the World Governments Summit from February 12-14 in a bid to help states develop proactive solutions for future challenges.

The 11th edition of the summit brings together more than 4,000 delegates, representatives of international organizations, opinion leaders, and private sector leaders from around the globe.

During the summit, more than 120 government delegations and 80 international organizations are discussing sustainable economic growth, artificial intelligence, future governments, education, healthcare services, food security and urban expansion.

Source(s): CGTN

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China makes remarkable progress in developing advanced aeroengines

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China has developed a series of advanced small- and medium-sized aeroengines represented by “Yulong” (Jade Dragon), AES100, AEF100 and AEP100, according to a symposium on the latest development of domestic aeroengines held in Beijing on Wednesday.

Aeroengine, or aircraft engine, is known as the “pearl in the crown” of modern industry and is a technical peak that is pursued by world powers.

The Yulong turboshaft aeroengine is the first entirely domestically developed engine that has completed the whole process from pre-research, development, mass production, operation to further progress, during which China has formed strong capabilities in product research and development, verification, and system and talent support.

The AES100 engine is developed in strict accordance with airworthiness regulations, featuring an international advanced level in its comprehensive performance.

It can be applied in twin-engine helicopters of 5 to 6 tonnes or single-engine helicopters of 3 to 4 tonnes, for multiple purposes such as sightseeing, patrolling, police service and rescue.

The AEF100 engine meets the power needs of 5-tonne business jets and 3-to-5-tonne high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It boasts advanced design of low noise, low emission and high reliability.

The AEP100 engine fits a 3-to-10 tonne UAV or 6-tonne general aircraft and business jet, with economic, safe and reliable features.

The country has also developed hybrid power systems, including the turbine engine powered by hydrogen fuel, which will reduce carbon emissions.

Source(s): CGTN

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