Advances in transportation technology that propel China to the top of the space race

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Advances in transportation technology that propel China to the top of the space race

Press release from: Cactus Communications
Posted: Friday September 24 2021

Today, China stands at another historical juncture and in doing so faces new opportunities and challenges. The country must have the courage to seize these opportunities, to keep innovating and making inroads, ”said Dr Xiaojun Wang, president of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology.

In 2021, China became the second nation to land and successfully operate an unmanned rover on Mars. Around the 2030s, China plans to become the first country to send a sample return spacecraft to Mars. These are just two of China’s milestones on its journey to become a leading space nation. He has a lot more planned. To achieve all these plans, Chinese aerospace agencies have been working on innovative technologies for more than 60 years. Of these, transportation systems, especially launchers, are crucial.

In an article published in Space: Science and technology On June 29, 2021, Dr. Wang explores China’s recent advances in space transportation systems, future prospects and remaining challenges.

In recent years, with a new generation of space launchers, China has launched rockets from the sea, sent several satellites into space, landed on the Moon and Mars, and performed human spaceflight, attracting attention. international. The latest of these launchers, the LM-11 of the Long March series, has a record-breaking preparation time of less than 24 hours, and is a big step towards meeting the rapid transport needs that a space station will bring; China began construction of its low-earth orbit space station in April 2021.

To make its space program more environmentally sustainable, Chinese aerospace agencies are transforming traditional toxic propulsion systems based on petroleum-derived rocket propellants into cryogenic liquid-based propulsion systems – which use cleaner fuels like oil. ‘hydrogen or oxygen – or the new high-power electric propulsion. systems. Launchers are also made very specific in terms of propulsion technology and efficient in terms of thrust-to-weight ratios and engines, which could save energy and fuel costs and make missions safer. Reusable technologies involving the control of landing zones and allowing horizontal take-off and landing are also being developed, to reduce waste generated by space missions and remain relevant on the world stage. Reusable launch technology will also allow China to remain competitive in the rapidly gaining momentum of commercial space travel industry.

Thinking of deep space missions, scientists are also working on the development of lightweight metal composites that can stand the test of time and improve the fuel efficiency of vehicle bodies. This will be necessary for stellar and nuclear devices, which are the only known types of vehicles capable of exploring beyond the solar system.

Additionally, scientists have combined the power of the latest advancements in aerospace engineering with artificial intelligence to develop intelligent technology that can predict and identify errors in space missions and even take corrective action when necessary. By using big data and cloud computing, platforms that can offer better remote control and improved communications with spacecraft are being built. Production, testing, launch, flight operations, reconfiguration and docking of space vehicles are being automated.

With large monetary investments and specific year-on-year goals to achieve each of these research development goals, spanning the 2020s to the 2040s, China aims to become a powerful space nation of here the first half of this century. It even plans to install a manned base station on the moon and a space solar power plant to better power its space products.

From satellite launchers to manned spacecraft, near Earth orbit missions to deep space exploration, China’s space transportation systems have developed in leaps and bounds over the past decades and will continue to grow. do so in the decades to come. “China seeks to intelligently strengthen aerospace transportation systems, to create propulsion technologies and develop digital management systems for Achieving its goal of emerging as a space power, China will devote itself to the peaceful development of space and fostering international cooperation, ”said Dr. Wang.

Space may be where the future of humanity is. And with this acceleration in the development of space technology, China is leading the way to get there.

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