by Staff Writers
Beijing (Sputnik) Mar 09, 2017
The Chinese Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology is breaking ground on techniques to send satellites into space via rockets shot from airborne Chinese planes, China Daily reports.
According to Li Tongyu, chief of rocket development at the academy, the technology will allow scientists and engineers to quickly replace "dysfunctional" satellites, as well as launch ad hoc, last-minute satellites into orbit, as part of disaster-relief efforts.
"The Y-20 strategic transport plane will be the carrier of these rockets," Li says. At a certain altitude the plane releases a rocket from its fuselage, which is then ignited after leaving the aircraft, said Li, adding that the group currently has a shovel-ready model that can send a 220 lb payload into orbit. The group will next work on a rocket capable of launching 450 lb payloads into orbit. Larger satellites will have to rely on conventional rocket technologies, he added.
One advantage, according to experts, is that satellites can be launched from an aerial platform using solid-fuel rockets. Land-based rockets, using liquid fuel, can take days or even weeks to transport the high volumes of fuel necessary for the launch, the paper added. In just 12 hours, solid-fuel rockets can be ready for launch, according to Chinese Academy of Engineering estimates.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has sought to accelerate China's space development during his tenure. Xi, in 2015, called for the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to "speed up" military capabilities in space, according to China Daily. Militarizing in this domain is a "need of the times," he added.
A purposeful disinformation campaign may have been waged by the Chinese, however, as in December 2016 the China National Space Administration published a white paper claiming that China will "always" use space exploration only "for peaceful purposes."
On February 14, 2017, Wang Ya'nan, a Beijing-based magazine editor for Aerospace Knowledge, said, "Though China has stated that it sticks to the peaceful use of space, we must make sure that we have the ability to cope with others' operations in space," suggesting the PLA will develop technologies to counter the threat of US space capabilities.
Source: Sputnik News
Beijing (XNA) Mar 07, 2017
China's first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 is expected to dock with the orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab three times after its planned launch in April, sources said Saturday. Tianzhou-1 will be sent into space from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan Province aboard a Long March-7 Y2 carrier rocket, according to a spokesperson of China's manned space program. It is s ... read more
Chinese Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com
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