China wants ideas to name spaceship and lander for astronauts on the moon (Image Credit: Space.com)
China is looking for names for two spacecraft which will one day deliver the nation’s astronauts to the surface of the moon.
The country is aiming to land a pair of astronauts on the moon before 2030 and is seeking public participation in naming key components for the plan. The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) has opened a public call (in Chinese) for names for a crewed moon lander and a new generation crew spacecraft. The competition will run till Sept. 30.
The agency will then make a preliminary selection of 10 names. Online voting for names on this shortlist will be opened, before a review team composed of experts in aerospace, literature and other fields make a final selection.
CMSA stated that the names should fully reflect the core values and related elements of human spaceflight and highlight China’s intelligent manufacturing. The name can have a maximum length of four Chinese characters.
China has already tested a boilerplate version of what is currently known by the somewhat wordy title of “New generation crew spacecraft.” A full test flight on a specially-developed Long March 10 rocket is planned for 2027.
Less is known about the planned lunar lander, but earlier reports reveal that it will weigh around 57,320 pounds (26,000 kilograms) and be composed of a landing module and a propulsion module. It is designed to carry two astronauts to the lunar surface and back into lunar orbit.
The mission will require a pair of launches of China’s Long March 10 rocket. Animations published by CMSA provide an impression of the lander, the spacecraft and how the mission is intended to proceed.