by Wei Long
Beijing - July 4, 2000 - China is busy preparing the second flight of its manned space capsule, the Hong Kong newspapers Wen Wei Po and Mingpao report today (July 4).
According to Wen Wei Po, the pro-Beijing newspaper, unidentified sources in the space program revealed that the second manned capsule would be lighter than the Shenzhou capsule, which was successfully tested in the unmanned maiden flight last November.
Mingpao reports that the capsule, temporarily named Shenzhou 2, will be launched near the time of National Day in October this year.
Like the Shenzhou capsule, the second capsule will have the capacity to accommodate three yuhangyuan ("astronauts").
Rearrangement of various controllers and re-wiring has reduced the weight of Shenzhou 2 by more than 100 kg.
These sources said that redesigning the wiring network resulted in using less wires in both the orbiting and reentry capsules, thus trimming the weight of the vehicles. With the redesign, wires are no longer exposed which significantly reduces the possibility of damage.
The wiring is now attached to surfaces. The approach lowers the centre of gravity of the capsule and helps balancing the vehicle.
According to the sources, rearranging the controllers renders the operation of the capsule easier.
Engineers and technicians are conducting pre-launch tests and fine-tuning the improved technologies at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre (JSLC) in the northwestern Gansu Province. JSLC had been designated as China's manned spaceflight launch centre earlier in the year.
Sources also said that training of yuhangyuan went smoothly. Yuhangyuan had been drilled in safety courses on exposure to electromagnetic radiation, meteor showers and weightless conditions.
Other departments involved in the manned space project, codenamed Project 921, have recently set up China's first large-scale space environment simulation laboratory. The facility would test the manned capsule in the simulated conditions of space, exposing the capsule to high vacuum and thermal cycles.
Research and development of spacesuit and space food is also underway separately.
Two weeks ago Mingpao reported that the first weightlessness simulator in China recently passed the acceptance inspection.
Designed and built jointly by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation and the Hubei National Defence Education and Military Simulation Centre, the simulator measures 15 m in diameter and 21 m in height.
A large fan generates wind speed of 120 to 150 km/h to create levitation. Yuhangyuan then don special clothing before being blown in the simulator 3 to 5 m above ground to simulate weightlessness.
by Wei Long
Beijing - June 12, 2000 - China is planning to orbit its own space station via a three phased plan says a technical report made public here last Thursday (June 8).
The Chinese Academy of Engineering held a "Frontiers of Engineering Technology" meeting which was well attended by both academics and industry. During the meeting, thirteen members of the Academy presented oral and written reports on more than ten topics to some 500 people.
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2016 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|