Space plan on display at Airshow China

By Jiang Jie in Zhuhai Source:Global Times Published: 2014-11-12 1:28:02

China revealed ambitious plans for continuing space exploration at the 10th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, Guangdong rovince, whose opening ceremony on Tuesday sparked widespread public excitement at the debut of several hotly-anticipated aircraft.

Much of the attention centered was on a life-sized model of China's Mars rover. China has committed to orbiting, landing and returning a probe from Mars by 2020, according to information on the country's Mars exploration program presented at the exhibition, also known as Airshow China.

The Mars rover's design is similar to China's moon rover Yutu, although somewhat larger in size. The 2-meter-long model was on display together with a model of a capsule that will carry the vehicle into Mars's atmosphere. "Our current concept has six wheels, like Yutu (Jade Rabbit), but will be larger and better at crossing obstacles," Jia Yang, leader of the team that developed Yutu, told Xinhua.

Other popular models on display included the FT-1 solid launch vehicle, a highly mobile rocket booster that can rapidly launch small satellites weighing less than 300 kilograms. Another focus of public attention was the Long March CZ-7 rocket, a new generation of heavy lifting rocket. The CZ-7 will have the ability to boost 6.5 tons worth of material into space, and will be used to build a space station suitable for long-term habitation. Aside from the models on display, the air show also saw a number of aircraft purchasing deals. The transportation authority of the Republic of Congo Tuesday announced the purchase of three ARJ21-700 jets, China's first homegrown regional passenger jet, and a featured model at Airshow China. It marked the first African purchase of ARJ21-700 jets from manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China.

Republic of Congo government representatives pointed out at a press conference on Tuesday that the design and manufacturing of ARJ21-700 jets have met global standards for airworthiness, and that the jet's adaptability and range make it well-suited to African markets.


Posted in: Military, Air & Space

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