Moon gear: China building lander, rover and spacesuit for lunar missions (video)

China is developing spacecraft and a spacesuit to allow its astronauts to land and explore the moon.

Concepts for a lunar lander, rover and spacesuit were presented by Zhang Hailian, deputy chief designer at the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) at the China Commercial Aerospace Forum in the city of Wuhan on July 12.

The new spacecraft and suit are being developed as part of China’s plan to land astronauts on the moon before 2030

Related: China plans to put astronauts on the moon before 2030

Artist's illustration of Chinese landers and other planned infrastructure on the moon. (Image credit: CCTV+)

China is also building a new crew spacecraft capable of flying to and returning from the moon, and developing a new rocket to launch both the landing and crewed segments.

Zhang said the lunar lander will have a mass of about 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 rover will have a mass of 440 pounds (200 kg) and carry a pair of astronauts. It's designed to have a range of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) across the lunar surface.

Artist's illustration of astronauts on the moon planting a Chinese flag. (Image credit: 3DSculptori/Stock/Getty Images)

"After the lunar lander delivers the two astronauts, the lunar rover and the relevant payloads to the surface of the moon, the astronauts will get inside the lunar rover to carry out lunar sampling and corresponding experiments within a range of 10 kilometers," Zhang said, according to CCTV+.

China is leading an International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) project, which is seen as a rival to the U.S.-led Artemis program. Venezuela signed up to the ILRS earlier this month.

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Andrew Jones
Contributing Writer

Andrew is a freelance space journalist with a focus on reporting on China's rapidly growing space sector. He began writing for in 2019 and writes for SpaceNews, IEEE Spectrum, National Geographic, Sky & Telescope, New Scientist and others. Andrew first caught the space bug when, as a youngster, he saw Voyager images of other worlds in our solar system for the first time. Away from space, Andrew enjoys trail running in the forests of Finland. You can follow him on Twitter @AJ_FI.

  • Atlan0001
    Unlike the West, China plans to go! Not just idiotically, stupidly, go out and come back in! They plan on staying out there . . . expanding China in Frontier occupancy and Colonization, Frontier permanency, out there! They are not planning on repeating the big, the huge, mistake they made between 700 and 600 years ago . . . the same big, huge, mistake we, the West, made 50 years ago.
  • Atlan0001
    China is planning on producing and driving, and driving on, a momentum buildup. We, an increasingly Dark Age Utopia orientated West, doesn't even know what frontier momentum means, as proven by the Space Frontier Age stagnancy, the Dark Utopian (Dystopian) Age cancerous growth within, of the last fifty years.

    If China can achieve breakout, achieve permanency, permanent occupancy and expansion (permanent occupancy via permanent expansionary momentum), in the frontier, more power (space power (the follow on to what was once 'sea power')) to them!