A simulated landing of CE-3 in this vid
This is a discussion on China's Space Program, News & Views within the Strategic Defense forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; China released the results of its lunar program scientific research. The Academician said they localized Helium-3 distribution on the moon. ...
China released the results of its lunar program scientific research. The Academician said they localized Helium-3 distribution on the moon. A reserve totaling more than 1 million tonnes for human consumption for more than 10 000 years.
A simulated landing of CE-3 in this vid
It is always a joy to see China launching for other countries.
Space, China’s Tactical Frontier: pdf
China's next manned mission Shenzhou 10 to perform complex manuevers
China's next manned spaceflight is likely to make a "fly around" of the Tiangong 1 space station, says Ming Li of the China Academy of Space Technology.
The previous Shenzhou 9 flight, which carried two male and one female Chinese astronauts in June 2012, had shown that China has now mastered direct docking and undocking with the 8 tonne Tiangong-1 small space station from a linear rendezous approach, according to Li, and that the next mission's objectives would be to make dockings using a non-tangential approach, probably from below.
This activity would likely be conducted as part of a fly-around inspection of the space station using similar techniques that the Space Shuttle and Soyuz spacecraft have used flying around the International Space Station.
With respect to China's plans for future space stations, Li says that China has almost completed a new follow-on space station, Tiangong-2, to be launched in the 2013/2014 time period. Like its forerunner, Tiangong-2 will control all attitude control manoeuvres of the Shenzhou spacecraft/Tiangong space station assembly once docking has been achieved using a combination of control moment gyros and thrusters...
China Plans 2013 Release for 2 New Telecom Satellite Options
NAPLES, Italy — The Chinese Academy of Space Technology plans to introduce its two new versions of China’s DFH-4 telecommunications satellite platform starting next year, both featuring lithium-ion batteries and the option of ion-electric propulsion, an academy official said Oct. 4.
Both versions are intended to strengthen China’s position in the global market for telecommunications platforms.
In a presentation here to the 63rd International Astronautical Congress, Yongxuan Xiao said that “with great support from [China’s] native satellite operator,” the first small-class version of DFH-4, called the 4S, will make its qualification flight as part of a commercial mission operated by China Satellite Communications Co. Ltd.
The DFH-4S is designed to be small enough to fit onto a Chinese Long March 3C rocket, which is less expensive than the Long March 3B vehicle that currently orbits China’s telecommunications satellites.
At 3.2 meters tall and with a maximum launch weight of 3,800 kilograms, the DHF-4S is smaller than the standard-version DFH-4 now being flown, and considerably smaller than the DFH-4E, which is also scheduled to be ready for flight in the next two years.
DFH-4E will weigh up to 6,000 kilograms at launch and deliver between 9 and 11 kilowatts of power to its payload. Xiao said qualification tests of the satellite’s principal subsystems will be completed in late 2012, and that it will be ready for sale to the market in 2013.
DFH-4 was introduced in 2006. After solar-array drive mechanism issues sharply reduced the life and functionality of two early versions, seven most recently launched models have worked well, with Venezuela’s Venesat-1 having accumulated more than three years of in-orbit service life.
Xiao said the ion-electric thrusters, which at the customer’s option may be used to replace conventional propellant to assure the satellite’s in-orbit stability, have accumulated more than 3,700 hours of lifetime tests. Electric propulsion offers substantial weight savings over conventional propulsion, which can be used to purchase a less-expensive rocket or to add more payload capacity.
Xiao said that for the moment, the electric propulsion designs for DFH-4S and the larger DFH-4E call for electric propulsion to be used only for station-keeping, and not in “full electric” mode to power the satellite from its transfer orbit after separation from its launch vehicle to final geostationary position.
Up to now, China has sold telecommunications satellites mainly as part of package deals that include a launch aboard a Chinese Long March rocket and insurance coverage. Xiao said the Chinese Academy of Space Technology’s goal is to break into export markets for the satellites themselves, with or without a Chinese rocket.
China and Europe Taking Navigation Dispute to the ITU
China and Europe have agreed to take their dispute over satellite navigation frequencies to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) by the end of this year, a senior European Commission official said Oct. 2.
The agreement, reached during a Sept. 20 summit in Brussels, Belgium, between China and the 27-nation European Union, may be a last-ditch attempt to resolve an issue that has been a thorn in the side of Europe’s Galileo satellite navigation program for years.
Because it has festered for so long, it may be too late to do much about the problem given the state of development of both sides’ satellite systems.
Europe’s Galileo constellation of medium Earth orbit satellites has two spacecraft in orbit and two scheduled for launch in mid-October. The program is slated to launch six more in 2013, with at least four more to follow by the end of 2014.
China’s Beidou system, which employs satellites in medium Earth, geostationary and inclined geostationary orbit, has 11 satellites in orbit and began initial operations in December. By the end of 2012, the system will be able to provide positioning, navigation and timing services for a wide swath of the Asia-Pacific region, according to the China Satellite Navigation Office.
Paul Weissenberg, deputy director-general of the enterprise and industry directorate-general of the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, said the commission believes that taking its case to the Geneva-based ITU is worthwhile.
“We have been talking to the Chinese for a long time,” Weissenberg said here Oct. 2 at the 63rd International Astronautical Congress. He said he visited Beijing in August to prepare the agreement that ultimately was signed during the Sept. 20 EU-China summit.
Weissenberg did not spell out exactly what the commission hopes to secure from the ITU in the way of a decision.
In the past, ITU officials have said their regulatory purview extends only to cases in which actual or potential signal interference is alleged. In these cases, the ITU applies its first-come, first-served rules to determine who has priority access to satellite orbital slots or broadcast frequencies in question.
In this case, neither the EU nor China has alleged interference. Instead, the EU would like China’s Beidou program to operate its secure, government-only service on radio spectrum that does not overlap with frequencies to be used by the Public Regulated Service (PRS) planned for Europe’s Galileo.
PRS, like China’s secure service and the U.S. GPS M-code, is reserved for military and civil-security uses.
A Beidou signal overlap with PRS will not impinge on the operations of either system, but will make it difficult for either one to jam the signals of the other in the event of a conflict.
This is the same issue that stressed U.S.-European satellite navigation discussions during Galileo’s design phase, when some European Galileo backers wanted PRS to overlay the GPS M-code.
The U.S. State and Defense departments threatened to cease all satellite navigation cooperation with Europe unless the PRS signal was moved away from the M-code frequencies. European governments ultimately agreed to the U.S. request.
A joint statement issued after the EU-China summit said the two sides “expressed common willingness to enhance cooperation in the field of space technology, and on the civil aspects” of their navigation systems.
A separate statement on space technology dialogue was issued at the same time, and it is this document that calls for the two sides to take their case to the ITU before the end of this year, Weissenberg said.
Given where the European and Chinese systems are in their development and deployment, it is unclear what can be done at this point to modify the signal overlay, government and industry officials said.
“I suppose one way would be to increase the PRS signal’s power to see whether it can overwhelm the Beidou signal, but the Chinese would then react by increasing their power,” one industry official said. “I am not sure this is a satisfactory long-term solution.”
China's First Woman in Space: Q&A with Astronaut Liu Yang
On June 16, 33-year-old Liu Yang became the first Chinese woman to reach space when she and two male crewmates blasted off aboard the Shenzhou 9 spacecraft.
Two days later, the three astronauts — or taikonauts, as they're known in China — hooked up with the robotic Tiangong 1 module, pulling off China's first-ever manned space docking. Another manned mission to Tiangong 1 — called Shenzhou 10 — is planned for next year, and Liu may be selected for that flight as well.
On Wednesday (Oct. 3), Liu spoke at the 63rd annual International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy. She said she was astonished by the beauty of Earth as seen from space, and that she was pleasantly surprised by the toy panda that had been left aboard Tiangong 1 by the ground crew.
China's first female astronaut Liu Yang, an Air Force major, salutes to reporters during a press conference on the eve of her June 16, 2012 launch with two crewmates on the Shenzhou 9 mission to the Tiangong 1 space lab.
During the Shenzou 9 briefing at the Congress and at a press conference shortly afterward, Liu answered journalists’ questions. Here are some of the questions she was asked, and what she said in response.
Was your flight an important achievement for Chinese women?
Liu: I am so honored to be performing this space mission on behalf of all the Chinese spacewomen and earn their trust and support.
When is your next mission?
Liu: My flight schedule is closely connected with the country’s development program. The next mission will come soon, and whether [or not] I am selected for the next mission I am preparing all the time for the country’s selection.
What duties do you have and what training are you undertaking for the next two to three years?
Liu: My duty now is to do more training and preparation work, and my additional duty is to exchange experiences with others and learn through each other because I have the flight experience. I think now more of my duties are to train for future missions.
Were you aware that other people were in orbit along with you, aboard the International Space Station?
Liu: I think we could sense all the others in the universe, and during our mission I think we all sensed being in space with other astronauts in orbit. We also sent our greetings to them [the International Space Station crew] when we were in orbit.
What do you think of this conference?
Liu: We can learn and exchange from each other, and the Congress is a good channel through which people can communicate with common goals. The Congress pushes forward the development of the technologies that will benefit mankind. It’s a very meaningful event.
Cooperation is the theme of this meeting. Why is cooperation important?
Liu: International cooperation is very necessary. The Chinese have the saying, "When all the people collect the wood, you will make a great fire." So international cooperation can help us to join our efforts together to have a better exploration of the universe and accelerate our exploration steps.
How did your training prepare you for the microgravity environment in space?
Liu: Our training schedule is reviewed and certified by a lot of expertise, and we got a lot of useful information. I feel all my training is very practical and meaningful and has helped me have a better mission. Performing tai chi in space — it is comfortable, we got more outer space chi.
SZ-9 crew honored with medals. Jing Haipeng was honored with a second-class aerospace achievement medal; Liu Wang and Liu Yang were both conferred third-class medals and the honorary title of "heroic astronaut." The decision was made on Oct. 1 by the CPC Central Committee, the State Council and the CMC.
CHANG'E-2 SATELLITE LAGRAGRANGE L2 POINT MISSION: pdf
Russia, U.S., China Clocked Similar Times Between Space ‘Firsts’
Russia, the United States and China took remarkably similar amounts of time — between 11.5 and 13.6 years — from their first launches of animals to when their astronauts first docked with habitable unmanned modules, according to the Secure World Foundation (SWF).
In a Sept. 5 publication, the Broomfield, Colo.-based organization said it performed the analysis following a widely held misimpression that China, the latest to have performed the feat — the Shenzhou 9 mission in June of this year — has moved much faster than Russia and the United States in manned space.
SWF acknowledged that there are lots of ways of measuring progress in manned space programs, and that the three nations did not follow the same routes to being able to prove their ability to send astronauts to space station modules.
But using this particular metric, despite the nearly half-century between the Russian and U.S. efforts and that of the Chinese, the three nations’ accomplishments appear to be not so different.
Russia’s Sputnik 2, which carried a dog named Laika, was launched in November 1957 and its Soyuz 11 docked with the Salyut 1 habitable module in June 1971 — a span of 13.6 years.
The U.S. Mercury-Atlas 5 mission — carrying Enos the chimpanzee — was in November 1961, with the Skylab 2 rendezvous in May 1973, 11.5 years later.
China’s Shenzhou 2 mission — carrying a monkey, a dog and a rabbit — was in January 2001, with the Shenzhou 9 docking some 12.7 years afterward.