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China unveils names for manned lunar exploration vehicles

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-24 18:27

BEIJING - The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) on Saturday unveiled the names of the new vehicles for future manned lunar exploration missions.

The new manned spacecraft is named Mengzhou, meaning dream vessel, which reflects the fact that the manned lunar exploration carries the Chinese people's space dream and opens a new journey of space adventure, according to the CMSA.

The lunar lander is named Lanyue, meaning embracing the moon, a term that appeared in a poem written by the late Chairman Mao Zedong. The word symbolizes the Chinese people's confidence in exploring the universe, said the agency.

The names were selected from nearly 2,000 proposals solicited from the public.

China plans to land its taikonauts on the moon before 2030 to carry out scientific exploration. The plan is to launch two carrier rockets to send a manned spacecraft and a lunar lander, respectively, into lunar orbit. The spacecraft and lunar lander will rendezvous and dock with each other, after which the taikonauts will enter the lander.

So far, the research and development of Mengzhou, Lanyue and Long March-10 carrier rocket have been progressing smoothly, said the CMSA.

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