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43 votes
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Does the Long March-11 increase its thrust after clearing the launch tower?

Long March 11 is a cold-launched rocket, based on a concept popular with military rockets. A gas charge is generated by the launch platform (often using a chemical gas generator) to eject the rocket ...
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29 votes
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Cartoon-like characters on the side of the Tianwen-1 Mars lander?

The cartoon characters are the mascots for the 2022 Winter Olympic games & the Winter Para Olympic games. The panda figure on the left is for the Olympic Games and the red figure of the right is ...
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27 votes
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What is the purpose of the satellite that China is putting in lunar orbit?

The Queqiao satellite's primary purpose is to relay communications to/from the upcoming Chang'e 4 lander and its rover. However, it also has scientific targets. In particular it carries a joint Dutch-...
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27 votes
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Why is China still not invited to the ISS? (Or, why do certain countries not get invited/rejected to work on the ISS?)

China has nothing to prove in this case, as it asked to be part of the International Space Station. This request was shut down by the US Government, which now prevents NASA from working with any ...
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14 votes
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Is NASA's Deep Space Network possibly a backup link for China's Zhurong rover?

I am almost certain the answer is not just no but is on the level of the underworld freezing over level of no. Congress has forbidden NASA from providing any support for China's space program. Shortly ...
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12 votes

Why is China still not invited to the ISS? (Or, why do certain countries not get invited/rejected to work on the ISS?)

This is will be a very humble answer and an overview of events that caused the complication. It has been more of a political issue rather than technical issue. U.S. congress always have wanted to ...
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12 votes
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Why do the Chinese launch most of their rockets so far from the coast?

The reason why the launch sites are built inland goes back to the Cold War. Western commentators have expressed surprise at the selection of a launch site so far inland, in difficult terrain, with ...
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11 votes
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How did Chang'e-4 hover, rotate, and then descend so gracefully? (Video)

The view is horizontal as the spacecraft seems to stop and hover over the chosen site, and then the view pitches forward until it is looking straight down. According to the graph linked by @...
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11 votes

The Chinese Mars rover and lander can be seen in the same picture. What device took the photo?

The group picture was taken by a wireless camera that had been released by the rover on the ground, from its bottom side. See this article in Chinese: http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n6758823/n6758838/c6812123/...
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10 votes
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What is the purpose and necessity of this giant structure being used in tests of China's Mars lander?

According to Quanzhi Ye (via tweet; while not a primary source, he is planetary scientist who understands Chinese) it is for simulating Mars' lower gravity while testing obstacle avoidance for the ...
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9 votes
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How does the US's 2008 debris cloud compare to India's 2019 and China's 2007 contributions?

There are some great excerpts from the ODPO (Orbital Debris Program Office) at NASA Johnson that describe the results of ASAT operations by China (Fengyun-1C in January 2007) and the U.S. (USA-193 in ...
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8 votes
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Are these statements about "a first use of grid fins by China" simply wrong?

It's pretty rare to see popular news articles get technical details right, and this is no exception. The grid fins referred to in earlier QAs here are, as Polygnome notes, not maneuverable; they ...
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8 votes
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Where can I find access to information provided by CNSA and Chinese scientists and reputable science authors?

Update: This Chinese Journal of Space Science has journal articles in English and it has a lot of technical info and it's incredibly good kuish. Thank you @LarryTeds. Woo. (side note: with this under ...
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8 votes

Is there independent evidence that China landed a robot on Mars in May 2021?

By independent evidence I mean things like: A UHF carrier, received by another state or hobbyist, that has a frequency drift consistent with a landing on Mars. This page documents transmissions ...
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7 votes
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Where is that lunar-grown cotton seed sprout?

The announcement was first made by the vice principle of Chongqing University (the primary designer of the growth module) on the 15th of January and you can find the original article summary from ...
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7 votes
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Is China using same technology and approach as other countries in space exploration?

China did not develop a space program from scratch. Before the 1960 Sino-Soviet split, there was ample cooperation between the Soviet Union and China in rocket development. This can still be seen in ...
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7 votes
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Why is China's primary launch facility so far north?

There are two embodied steps in the question a) "pre-eminent" which raises the question "for what purpose" and b) that "north" does not follow the pattern adopted by other participants. Expanding a ...
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7 votes
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Was the launch of "Tianhe" a failure or success?

You've answered your question yourself. The launch placed the space station's core module into orbit. Hence it was a success. However, the vehicle consisted of more than just the core module. The Long ...
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6 votes
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What makes Gaofen-4 "the most powerful GEO spy satellite"?

To public knowledge, it is the highest-resolution imager in GEO. The 2nd place is occupied by weather sats with instruments like GOCI (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geostationary_Ocean_Color_Imager), ...
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6 votes

Transmission time per day for Chang'e 4?

Right now, the Chinese Deep Space Network is only in China, although there are a number of locations there. They are building a station in South America, however, which should give near continuous ...
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6 votes
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Will Chang'e-4 really take a month to "get to the Moon"? With what trajectory?

According to Spaceflight Now (emphasis mine): Chang’e 4 is expected to enter lunar orbit Tuesday [Dec 11 2018] after a series of course-correction maneuvers, then use braking rockets to descend to ...
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5 votes

Why is China still not invited to the ISS? (Or, why do certain countries not get invited/rejected to work on the ISS?)

ISS didn't have many countries as part of it especially China and India IMO have many and varying reason. China is somewhat capable on his own for going on venture like this having space station as ...
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5 votes

Will Chang'e-4 really take a month to "get to the Moon"? With what trajectory?

I don't know the exact path, but I do know there's a path to the moon that takes about a month. The reason it's used is that it takes less energy. The Apollo missions got there in three days but ...
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5 votes
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Where on Mars will China's rover land?

They're currently looking at two sites in Utopia Planitia. Each landing site will have a landing eclipse of 40 by 100km. This region has a cool feature in; Utopia Planitia may have been extensively ...
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5 votes
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Did the US hide 4179 Toutatis orbital data after China announced intentions of going there?

Just checked from the JPL Horizons website. It seems that it is in fact still there. I also looked at the JPL Small-Body Database. Looking up Toutatis, it says it was last updated in 2003. It seems ...
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5 votes

How did Argentina, Namibia, and Pakistan help China monitor and communicate with Chang'e 5?

There is a Chinese run ground station in Swakopmund, Namibia. Image source This station is part of the "Chinese Tracking, Telemetry, Command and Communications System", which has similar ...
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5 votes

How did Argentina, Namibia, and Pakistan help China monitor and communicate with Chang'e 5?

In 2014 China and Argentina signed an agreement that allowed China to establish and operate a deep space station in Argentina. According to Reuters, the Chinese military runs the station in Argentina. ...
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5 votes
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What flag is flying over the landing site of the Shenzhou 12 crew astronauts returning from Tiangong? What does it say?

The characters in the flag appear to be "搜救 回收大队" which Google translate gives as: "Search and rescue recovery brigade" Though I haven't found a direct link to an organization with ...
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4 votes
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What will China's new "space station" in Argentinian Patagonia be used for?

Question: What are the stated or otherwise likely future uses for this space station beyond servicing China's upcoming Chang'e 4 mission and Queqiao satellite on it's way to the Moon? The article "...
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