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12

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 poor communication facilities in a relatively populated rural area. The Chinese subsequently explained that during the tense seventies, an inland site was ...


7

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 March 5 rocket consists of several stages, the last one of which (the "launch vehicle") was left in an orbit that would bring it back to earth in an ...


7

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 the belt, there are probably other journals like this, so search something like Chinese Journal of Space Technology might get you a hit.) Aside from that ...


5

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 resurfaced by mud flows, so it is an interesting place to investigate potential past subsurface habitability. Alfred McEwen This is an edited version of this ...


5

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 very unlikely that it was specifically deleted because China wanted to send a spacecraft there.


4

There are a couple of reasons why one might want to put launch sites on the coast: You don't want to drop rockets on people. Only relevant if you actually care about people. Access to a port, for parts that are too large to ship over land. Only relevant if you care about not blowing up mountains, filling up valleys. Also, only relevant if you have to ...


4

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. The site is on a 200 ha compound, in a remote part of Argentina. While it still has access to an Australian space dish, at Yatharagga in Western Australia, ...


4

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 stations also in Karachi, Pakistan and Malindi, Kenya. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swakopmund_tracking_station for more information.


4

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 received around the landing time, received on a 20 m amateur dish. Videos showing signal analysis are available on YouTube.


3

The Chinese space station is called the Tiangong ("Heavenly Palace") as seen in this article from the Chinese National Space Administration. The core module that has already launched is called the Tianhe ("Harmony of the Heavens"). The rest of the modules, and details of the space station, can be found here.


3

Plugging in a periapsis altitude of of 265km, apoapsis of 12,000km, inclination of 86.9 degrees, and right ascension of -10 degrees (so the groundtracks would pass over Utopia Planitia) yields these groundtracks for the satellite with respect to the IAU_MARS body fixed reference frame: The parts of the groundtrack where the dots are more spread out signify ...


2

Long March, Chinese Chang Zheng, family of Chinese launch vehicles. says Britannica. They were intended for export, a plausible reason for its builders to take the initiative of translating its Chinese name to one more familiar to their markets.


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Before we get into potential causes of the delay, I think it's important to say that the key focus of replacing CZ-2,3,4 wasn't to prevent booster on village syndrome it was to; To design a series of launch vehicles rather than one launcher made for a specific mission, so that to enhance China’s capability of entering the space. To apply the advanced ...


1

Neither NASA nor Xinhua news, in their detailed descriptions of the overall mission, mention any role for the orbiter after the returner separates from it in Earth orbit to land. Any extended mission for the orbiter that requires equipment beyond what is needed to retrieve Lunar samples would have eaten into the payload budget and probably reduced the size ...


1

Was Queqiao in a halo or Lissajous orbit? It is hard to say which, or even yes or no, because there are so many kinds of Lagrange point orbits possible that can be maintained with a little help from propulsive station keeping, and a specific, definitive answer would require either plenty of orbital tracking data or more information from the spacecraft's ...


1

TL;DR All but the Chinese use the Deep Space Network, so the DSN is in charge of coordination. Spacecraft also need a surprisingly low amount of communication time with the ground, and they have a unique ID to check that the messages they receive are indeed destined to them. Spacecraft operators know the exact frequency of their spacecraft radios, and ...


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