China to Test 3D Printing Technology on the Moon to Build Habitats
As space exploration continues to be a key interest of many countries, China is taking a significant step towards long-term inhabitation of the moon. According to the China Daily, China is exploring the use of 3D printing technology to build buildings on the moon. The country has solidified plans to inhabit the moon in the long-term and is set to test its 3D printing technology during the Chang’e 5 mission. Named after a Chinese goddess of the moon, Chang’e 5 is an unmanned probe that brought China’s first lunar soil samples to Earth. China’s ultimate plan is to land an astronaut on the moon by 2030.
Japan’s ispace Prepares for World’s First Commercial Moon Landing
The world’s first lunar landing by a private company is expected on Wednesday, January 26th. Japanese startup, ispace inc., is set to land its Hakuto-R Mission 1 spacecraft on the moon, paving the way for future commercial lunar travel. The spacecraft is set to land at 1:40 a.m. Japan time after lifting off from Cape Canaveral in Florida in December 2021.
Chinese Mars Rover Likely Down Due to Dust Blocking Sunlight: Designer
The Zhurong rover, China’s fully automated Mars rover, has been in longer-than-expected hibernation since May 2022. It is likely that excessive sand and dust buildup have led to a fall in solar radiation and a subsequent cut off in energy generation. Named for a mythical Chinese god of fire, Zhurong was expected to wake up in December 2021 after entering a planned sleep mode. The mission designer confirmed the status of the rover, breaking several months of silence.
Launchpad Updates Imminent After SpaceX Rocket Explosion Hit Site
Elon Musk’s SpaceX is set to make significant updates to its launchpad after the Starship rocket’s debut explosion caused extensive damage. The company plans to use a water-cooled steel plate capable of withstanding the most powerful liftoff for its next rocket launch. Minutes after liftoff on an uncrewed test flight in December 2021, the spacecraft exploded 23 miles into the sky.
SpaceX Gets Approval to Add Fifth US Rocket Launch Site
SpaceX has received approval to lease a second rocket launch complex at a Californian military base from the US Space Force. This approval sets the company on track for its fifth launch site in the United States. Under the lease, SpaceX will launch its Falcon rockets from Space Launch Complex-6 at Vandenberg Space Force Base, a military site north of Los Angeles.
US and South Korea to Sign Space Cooperation Agreement During Summit
NASA and South Korea’s science agency are set to sign a pact at the US-Korean summit on Tuesday. The agreement is aimed at boosting cooperation between the two countries in outer space, as they meet to expand high technology and security ties. South Korean President, Yoon Suk Yeol, embarks on his country’s first state visit to Washington in 12 years to mark the 70th anniversary of the U.S.-Korean alliance.
As per information from the source, these developments highlight the continued interest and innovation in space exploration, further cementing its position as an important facet of scientific advancement.