China’s first person in space and deputy director of the manned space engineering office Yang Liwei. Xinhua News Agency
China’s manned space station will be operational around 2022
Yang Liwei introduced that the basic configuration of China’s space station includes a core cabin and two experimental cabins, with a symmetrical T-shaped configuration, an orbital inclination of 42 degrees, a height of 340 to 450 kilometers, a design life of 10 years, a rated number of 3 members, and the maximum number of rotations during group rotation. Up to 6 people, and the group’s general on-orbit mission cycle is six months.
"The space station compartments will be launched by the Long March 5th B carrier rocket at the Wenchang Space Launch Site; the cargo spaceship will be launched by the Long March 7 launch vehicle; and the Shenzhou manned spacecraft will be launched by the Long March II F rocket at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center," said Yang Liwei.
This year is the critical year for the third-step mission of China’s manned space project. The Long March 5B launch vehicle developed for the mission improvement of the space station will be transferred to the sample stage in March. Follow-up will be carried out before launch training and preparation for the first flight mission. The center of the space station will complete the assembly of equipment and assembly of the cabin, and related large-scale ground joint experiments will be gradually launched.
Yang Liwei introduced that China’s space station is equipped with scientific experiment cabinets with international standard interfaces in the core cabin and two experimental cabins for conducting various kinds of space science experiments. The main areas include: space life sciences and biotechnology, microgravity fluids Physics and Combustion Science, Space Materials Science, Microgravity Fundamental Physics, etc. In addition, a space telescope with a 2-meter aperture will be developed for large-scale, multicolor imaging and seamless broad-spectrum surveys, providing observational data for the frontiers of astronomy and physics.
"China will implement the first flight mission of the Long March 5th B carrier rocket around June next year, and then successively launch the space station's core and experimental cabins to carry out the space station's on-orbit assembly and construction," said Yang Liwei.
Space station construction requires astronaut to carry out a lot of "exterior work"
Astronauts are the core of manned spaceflight. The arrival of the "space station era" places higher demands on Chinese astronauts.
Yang Liwei introduced that in order to meet the mission requirements of the space station, the first batch of preparations for the preparation of the third batch of astronauts will be organized in the first half of the year, including not only space pilots but also space flight engineers and load specialists. Application of system-related loads will complete phased development work. Manned spacecraft and cargo spaceship follow-up products are being produced as planned.
Entering the "Space Station era", the time that the astronauts stay on track has been greatly extended. Now they can stay for one month, and the future will be three months, six months or even longer. The astronaut’s technical skills will change greatly. In the past, most of the astronauts had been doing “in-nature” experiments in the cabin. In the future construction of the space station, astronauts will perform a lot of work in the extravehicular space, which is a very big challenge for the astronauts.
“It is very difficult to create the conditions for the vacuum and weightlessness of the extravehicular space on the ground. It can only pass the ground simulation test, and the simulation will have errors. These errors will have an impact on the astronauts after the sky. This requires a lot of Research and training," Yang Liwei said.
In the era of China’s space station preparation, Chinese astronauts are nervously preparing. Yang Liwei said that during the assembly and construction of the Chinese space station from around 2019 to 2022, several manned flights will be arranged according to need. The astronaut will stay on the space station and will realize long-term residency after the space station is completely completed.
Yang Liwei said that the selection of flight engineers and load specialists pays more attention to basic knowledge. Most of them require graduate or above, more emphasis on work experience, flight engineers require a master's degree or above, 3-5 years of work experience, and load specialists require doctoral degrees. 3 years of work experience.
With regard to the follow-up development of China’s manned spaceflight, Yang Li’s greatness depicted China’s manned spaceflight plan for the next 50 to 100 years—gradually moving from near-earth space to earth and moon space, and then to deep space, supporting the development of the country’s interests to the ground. The development of the space in the month, the construction of China’s leading space security circle, economic circle, and scientific and technological circle led by China will make greater contribution to the Chinese people in exploring the vast universe.
China welcomes all forms of international cooperation
The astronauts compared the return tank of Shenzhou V that Yang Liwei took as a one-bedroom apartment in space. He compared the Shenzhou-6 reentry capsule and orbital cabin to two-bedroom apartments, and compared the Tiangong-1 and the equal-sized Tiangong-2 to a suite. The space station in the future is likened to Chinese space villas.
Yang Liwei said that in the future, in addition to pilot-born astronauts, China will have new astronauts such as load specialists and engineers. The space “villas” will also be stationed in an international family, because the space station under construction has already been pre- Leave a certain amount of load and test space, waiting for foreign astronauts.
Yang Liwei said that China is actively communicating with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and other countries and negotiating to promote projects such as exchange training and joint training of astronauts.
The International Space Station is currently scheduled to end its life in 2024. By then, China’s space station may be the only space station in space for some time. Yang Liwei said that in fact, as early as in the first manned space flight, China carried the flag of the United Nations.
“This year, China’s manned space engineering office will jointly launch space station mission cooperation opportunities with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and carry out project recruitment work. Joint cooperation with ESA on cabin and section cooperation will also be conducted with relevant countries to explore manned lunar exploration technology. The program will jointly demonstrate the work and will organize an international academic conference on topics related to lunar landing and ascent modes, said Yang Liwei.
(Original titled "China Aerospace Enters Space Station Times")