10-20-2007 10:33

Chief Commander for Chang'e Program, Luan Enjie

The moon is the only natural satellite of the Earth. It has a tranquil, bright and clear appearance in the eyes of people on the Earth. Because of its thin brilliance that brings lovers with quiet warmth in the night, it is likened to a jade plate or a lovely and graceful woman.

In the late 50s and early 60s of the last century, the former Soviet Union and the United States launched spacecraft to explore the moon in succession. Particularly, the U.S. performed the first manned landing in the Apollo 11 mission in 1969, demonstrating the wisdom and capability of mankind. (See Figure 1: The Past, Present and Future of Lunar Exploration)

In 1998 when I was the Administrator of China National Space Administration (CNSA), we had a serious question before us: What would be the directions and priorities for the future development of China’s space program?

China began its space effort 50 years ago, but its space activities got started in the early 1970s when its first man-made satellite was orbited. During the last 35 years, we achieved two milestones, i.e. the launch of China’s first man-made satellite and the flight of a manned spacecraft. Then, what will be the next step? Through careful pondering and seizing on the four critical moves, i.e. the improvement of launch vehicle payload capacity and the development of a full spectrum of launch vehicles, the creation of a broad spectrum of application satellites, the contribution of space projects to the development of national economy and deep space exploration, I and my colleagues proposed the so-called “211” development plan for China’s space program (namely two spectrums, one application and one deep space exploration). This concept has already witnessed its correctness with the progresses after it was put forward. To date, the heavy-lift launch vehicle spectrum and the satellite platform spectrum have been in development, satellite application and the proposed Earth observation system have been listed into national plans, and deep space exploration, beginning with the lunar exploration program, is now under progress.

The Chang’e-1 Project - China’s Lunar Exploration Program(II)

The U.S. is the leader in deep space exploration. Apart from Pluto for which no touching exploration has been made, all the planets in the solar system have been preliminarily probed by mankind.


Payloads of Chang’e-1 - China’s Lunar Exploration Program(III)

The Chang’e-1 orbiter to be launched in Phase 1 of China’s lunar program has four science objectives:


Orbit Selection for Chang’e-1 - China’s Lunar Exploration Program(IV)

Orbit selection is a very important part of technical content in Chang’e Program. This is the first time for us to make a voyage of 400,000 kilometers.


Satellite Control System - China’s Lunar Exploration Program(V)

The control system of Chang’e-1 satellite will conduct the output judgment for various sensors, driving movable components, determination and automatic adjustment of the satellite attitude, orientation of lunar satellite, and the multi-body tracking and control towards the Moon, Earth, stars and the sun.


Driving Role of Deep Space Exploration for Development of Science and Technology - China’s Lunar Exploration Program(VI)

According to NASA’s Basics of Space Flight, their investment in deep space exploration can produce a pulling effect of 1:100.


Editor:Liu Fang