Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Mar 06, 2014
China is expected to launch a cargo ship into space around 2016 to serve the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, a leading space scientist said Sunday.
The cargo ship, named "Tianzhou" or "Heavenly Vessel" in Chinese, will be delivered by the newly-developed Long March-7 carrier rocket and dock with Tiangong-2 automatically, said Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China's manned space program, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
Cargo transportation system that supplies goods and propellants is a key technology China must master to build its own space station, said Zhou, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.
Tiangong-1, China's first space lab and target orbiter, was sent to orbit on Sept. 29, 2011. China is expected to launch the Tiangong-2 space lab around 2015.
"A manned spaceship has limited transportation capacity and costs highly," said Zhou ahead of the annual session of the advisory body, which is scheduled to open on Monday.
"But a cargo ship will not return to the Earth and does not need to carry people in its launching and docking processes, which makes its transportation of goods more economical and efficient," he said.
The Tianzhou cargo ship can send supplies to the space station, including propellants, living necessities for astronauts and equipment for scientific research. It can destroy various wasted materials, he said.
It can also send large-sized facilities and equipment for the construction of the space station, he added.
Three cabin structures are being designed for the Tianzhou cargo ship, a fully-enclosed one, a semi-open one and a wholly-open one, he said.
The loading capacity of the cargo ship will reach the world-class level and will be even better than some developed countries, he said.
Researchers are busy developing the Long March-7 carrier rocket, which has a new-generation engine and uses harmless propellants. It has a carrying capacity of more than 13 tonnes, he said.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
China National Space Administration
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - 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.|