China selects astronauts for space station program
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Mar 05, 2021
The crewmembers who will participate in the construction of China's space station have been selected and are being trained for their missions, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).
The construction of the space station has entered a crucial stage, said the CMSA, noting that this year will see several space missions including the launch of the station's core module, cargo replenishment, and a manned flight, which will be carried out one after another.
China aims to complete the construction of its space station by around 2022. During the construction, China plans to launch four Shenzhou manned spaceships and four Tianzhou cargo spacecraft to transport astronauts and supplement materials.
The Long March-5B Y2 rocket, which will launch the core module, has been safely transported to the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan province. The core module is scheduled to be launched in the first half of this year.
First space station module being prepared for liftoff
The 20-metric-ton core module and the Long March 5B heavy-lift carrier rocket tasked with launching it have arrived at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province, the agency said on Thursday morning, adding that four groups of astronauts have been selected for the space station's construction and are undergoing training.
It said China is determined to open the station to international cooperation in science and technology. Chinese scientists and their counterparts from the United Nations have selected the first batch of scientific experiments proposed by foreign researchers that will be carried out in the station. They are currently working on the implementation of the cooperative programs, the agency said.
The agency said it is also considering plans for China's manned lunar exploration program.
China's most sophisticated space endeavor, the multimodule space station, named Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace, will be mainly composed of three components-a core module attached to two space laboratories-with a combined weight of more than 90 tons.
The core module, named Tianhe, or Harmony of Heavens, is 16.6 meters long and has a diameter of 4.2 meters. It has three parts-a connecting section, a life-support and control section and a resources section.
It will be central to the space station's operations, given that astronauts will live there and control the entire station from inside.
The entire station is expected to become fully operational next year and is set to operate for about 15 years, program planners have said.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
China tests high-thrust rocket engine for upcoming space station missions
Beijing (XNA) Mar 04, 2021
A Chinese high-thrust oxyhydrogen engine designed for the Long March-5 carrier rocket has completed a 520-second test in Beijing in preparation for space station missions, the engine's maker said on Wednesday. Developed by an institute under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), the engine is the most advanced cryogenic liquid rocket engine that has been put into use in China. The engine ran for 520 seconds during its test on Sunday, 20 seconds longer than its design ... read more
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