The Future of Manned Space in China

At the 12th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition opened on the 6th, a large number of aerospace heavy equipments were unveiled. Among them, China’s space station core cabin, a new generation of manned spacecraft and a new generation of manned launch vehicles began their first public appearances. You can have a glimpse of the future of China’s manned space flight.

On the afternoon of the 5th, the core space of the China Space Station set off a hijab in the China Aerospace Science and Technology Group exhibition area to reveal the true content. The core cabin of the exhibition is a 1:1 process validation cabin, and its status is almost identical to the real core cabin.

The basic configuration of the China Space Station includes the core cabin, the experimental cabin I and the experimental cabin II. Each cabin has a scale of 20 tons, the combined mass of the three cabins is about 66 tons, the rated crew is 3 people, and the short-term passengers can reach 6 people. The core cabin is the main control section of the space station, the management and control center, and the main place for the astronauts to live.

The reporter learned from the five institutes of the Aerospace Science and Technology Group that the core cabin has three pairs of interfaces and two parking ports. The parking port is used to assemble the two experimental and core cabins to form a space station combination; the interface is used for manned spacecraft, cargo spacecraft and other aircraft access space stations. There is also an out hatch for the astronauts to leave the cabin.

It is understood that the core cabin is equipped with a materialized regenerative life support system to reduce the replenishment demand for the loss of materials. China’s space station will use electric propulsion technology to reduce propellant consumption.

At the same time, the space station robot arm was also exhibited together. The robotic arm has precise operation and visual recognition capabilities, both autonomous and remote control by astronauts.

Facing the future development needs of China’s manned space flight, the Fifth Academy is demonstrating the development of a new generation of manned space reciprocating transport aircraft. Its scaled version was unveiled at this year’s air show.

The reporter learned from the Aerospace Science and Technology Group that the new generation of manned spacecraft is about 9 meters long and has a maximum launch weight of 23 tons. It adopts two cabin configurations: return cabin and service cabin. The return cabin is the astronaut cockpit, and is also the command center of the entire ship, and assumes the responsibility of returning to the atmosphere to return to the Earth; the service cabin has the function of providing orbital maneuvering power and orbital energy.

Based on the existing technology of China’s manned spaceflight project, the spacecraft has adopted a series of advanced technologies. The modular design of the spacecraft can accommodate a variety of tasks such as low-Earth orbit, manned lunar exploration and manned deep space exploration.

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