Tianzhou (spacecraft)

Last updated
Tianzhou
Tianzhou-1 paper model.png
Country of origin China
Operator CNSA
Applications Tiangong-2 resupply
Specifications
Spacecraft type Automated cargo spacecraft
Launch massUp to 13,500 kg (29,800 lb)
Payload capacityUp to 6,500 kg (14,300 lb)
Dimensions9 m × 3.35 m (29.5 ft × 11.0 ft)
Volume15 m3 (530 cu ft)
Production
StatusActive
Related spacecraft
Derived from Tiangong-1

The Tianzhou (Chinese :天舟; pinyin :Tiān Zhōu; lit. : 'Heavenly Ship') is a Chinese automated cargo spacecraft developed from China's first prototype space station Tiangong-1 to resupply its future modular space station. It was first launched (Tianzhou 1) on the Long March 7 rocket from Wenchang on April 20, 2017 [1] and demonstrated autonomous propellant transfer (space refueling). [2] [3]

Contents

The first version of Tianzhou has a mass of 12,910 kg and can carry 6,500 kg of cargo.

Function

Based on the Tiangong-1 space station, it is planned that the Tianzhou will function as the main automated cargo spacecraft for the Chinese space station. It will have pressurized, semi-pressurized and unpressurized cargo capabilities, and will be able to transport airtight cargo, large extravehicular payloads and experiment platforms. It was first launched on the new Long March 7 rocket from Wenchang on April 20, 2017. [2] [4]

Name

The China Manned Space Engineering Office opened a consultation for the naming of the prospective cargo ship on April 25, 2011. By May 20, it had received more than 50,000 suggestions. [5] On July 8 Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut and deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed that they had a short list of ten names. [6] On October 31, 2013, it was revealed that they spacecraft had been named Tianzhou (Chinese :天舟; pinyin :Tiān Zhōu; lit. : 'Heavenly Boat'), a combining the Chinese names of the Tiangong (Chinese :天宫; pinyin :Tiān Gōng) space stations and the Shenzhou (Chinese :神舟; pinyin :Shén Zhōu) spacecraft. They also stated that they would use the two letter identification TZ. [7]

Missions

No.SpacecraftS/NLaunch (UTC) Carrier
Rocket
Launch
Pad
DockingDeorbitRemarks
Station/
Port
DockingUndocking
1 Tianzhou 1 Unknown20 April 2017 11:41 Long March 7 Wenchang LC-2 Tiangong-2 ForeApril 21, 2017 [8] 22nd September 2017 08:15 UTC22nd September 2017 (deorbit burn at 10:00 UTC)Maiden flight of the Tianzhou spacecraft. First Tianzhou flight to Tiangong-2.

See also

Related Research Articles

Shenzhou 5 first human spaceflight mission of the Chinese space program

Shenzhou 5 was the first human spaceflight mission of the Chinese space program, launched on 15 October 2003. The Shenzhou spacecraft was launched on a Long March 2F launch vehicle. There had been four previous flights of uncrewed Shenzhou missions since 1999. China became the third country in the world to have independent human spaceflight capability after the Soviet Union and the United States.

Chinese space program Space program of the Peoples Republic of China

The space program of the People's Republic of China is directed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA). Its technological roots can be traced back to the late 1950s, when China began a ballistic missile program in response to perceived American threats. However, the first Chinese crewed space program only began several decades later, when an accelerated program of technological development culminated in Yang Liwei's successful 2003 flight aboard Shenzhou 5. This achievement made China the third country to independently send humans into space. Plans currently include a permanent Chinese space station in 2020 and crewed expeditions to the Moon.

Shenzhou 1 launched on November 19, 1999, was the first unmanned launch of the Shenzhou spacecraft. The spacecraft used was not equipped with a life support system or an emergency escape system. After orbiting the Earth 14 times, the command for retrofire was sent by the Yuanwang 3 tracking ship off the coast of Namibia at 18:49 UTC. After a successful reentry it landed about 415 km east of its launch pad and 110 km north-west of Wuhai, Inner Mongolia.

Shenzhou 7 mission of the Chinese space program

Shenzhou 7 was the third human spaceflight mission of the Chinese space program. The mission, which included the first Chinese extra-vehicular activity (EVA) carried out by crew members Zhai Zhigang and Liu Boming, marked the commencement of the second phase of the Chinese government's Project 921.

Tiangong program space station program of the Peoples Republic of China

Tiangong is a space station program of the People's Republic of China, with the goal of creating a modular space station, comparable to Mir. This program is independent and unconnected to any other international space-active countries. The program began in 1992 as Project 921-2. As of January 2013, China moved forward on a large multiphase construction program that will lead to a large space station around 2020.

Chinese large modular space station Planned space station to be placed in Low Earth orbit

The Chinese large modular space station is a planned space station to be placed in Low Earth orbit. The planned Chinese Space Station will be roughly one-fifth the mass of the International Space Station and about the size of the decommissioned Russian Mir space station. The Chinese station is expected to have a mass between 80 and 100 tonnes. Operations will be controlled from the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center in China. The planned launch date of the core module, the Tianhe, is 2021. In 2017, the Chinese launched the Tianzhou-1 cargo spaceship, which is based on the Tiangong 1 and 2 space laboratories.

Shenzhou 8

Shenzhou 8 was an uncrewed flight of China's Shenzhou program, launched on October 31, 2011 UTC, or November 1 in China, by a Long March 2F rocket which lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.

Shenzhou 9

Shenzhou 9 was the fourth crewed spacecraft flight of China's Shenzhou program, launched at 18:37:24 CST, 16 June 2012. Shenzhou 9 was the second spacecraft and first crewed spacecraft to dock with the Tiangong 1 space station, which took place on 18 June. The Shenzhou 9 spacecraft landed at 10:01:16 CST on 29 June in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The mission's crew included the first Chinese female astronaut, Liu Yang. The next mission was Shenzhou 10, which launched on 11 June 2013.

Cargo spacecraft Robotic spacecraft that is designed to resupply a space station

Cargo spacecraft are robotic spacecraft that are designed to carry cargo, possibly to support space stations' operation by transporting food, propellant and other supplies. This is different from space probes, whose missions are to conduct scientific investigations.

Tiangong-1 Chinese prototype space station

Tiangong-1 was China's first prototype space station. It orbited Earth from September 2011 to April 2018, serving as both a crewed laboratory and an experimental testbed to demonstrate orbital rendezvous and docking capabilities during its two years of active operational life.

Tiangong-2 Chinese space laboratory

Tiangong-2 was a Chinese space laboratory and part of the Project 921-2 space station program. Tiangong-2 was launched on 15 September 2016. It was deorbited as planned on 19 July 2019.

Tiangong-3 was a proposed Chinese space station, part of the Tiangong space station program. The China National Space Agency was originally expected to launch Tiangong-3 around 2015, following the launch of the Tiangong-2 test laboratory, originally planned for 2013. The goals for the Tiangong-2 and Tiangong-3 laboratories were eventually merged, and the latter was therefore not ordered.

Feitian space suit

A Feitian space suit is a Chinese spacesuit that was developed for the Shenzhou 7. Astronaut Zhai Zhigang wore it during China's first-ever extra-vehicular activity (EVA) on 27 September 2008.

The Long March 7, or Chang Zheng 7 in pinyin, abbreviated LM-7 for export or CZ-7 within China, originally Long March 2F/H or Chang Zheng 2F/H, nicknamed Bingjian, is a Chinese liquid-fuelled carrier rocket of the Long March family, developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. It made its inaugural flight on 25 June 2016.

Core Cabin Module Component of Chinas space station

The Tianhe, code name TH, or Core Cabin Module (CCM) is the foundation element of the Chinese space station, as the final stage of Project 921 Tiangong program, part of the Chinese space program. The CCM follows the Salyut and Almaz series, Cosmos 557, Skylab, Mir, ISS, Tiangong 1 and Tiangong 2 space stations. It is the first part of a third generation modular space station. Other examples of modular station projects include the Soviet/Russian Mir, Russian OPSEK, and the International Space Station. Operations will be controlled from the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center in the People's Republic of China. In 2018 fullscale mockup of CCM was publicly presented at China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai

Kuaizhou is a family of Chinese "quick-reaction" orbital launch vehicles. Flying since 2013, Kuaizhou 1 and 1A consist of three solid-fueled rocket stages, with a liquid-fueled fourth stage as part of the satellite system. Kuaizhou 11, planned for 2020, is a larger model able to launch a 1,500 kilograms (3,300 lb) payload into low Earth orbit. Heavy-lift models KZ-21 and KZ-31 are in development. The Kuaizhou series of rockets is manufactured by ExPace, a subsidiary of China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation (CASIC), as their commercial launch vehicles.

Tianzhou or Tian Zhou may refer to:

Tianzhou 1 Tianzhou 1 is a unmaned cargo spacecraft created by China.

Tianzhou 1 was the debut mission of the Tianzhou-class unmanned cargo spacecraft. It was developed as part of the manned space program of China. Tianzhou means "heavenly vessel" in Chinese. On 20 April 2017, Tianzhou 1 was launched by rocket Long March 7 at China Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site. It successfully docked with the Tiangong-2 space laboratory on 22 April 2017 at 12:16 (UTC+8). Tianzhou 1 was deorbited on 22 September 2017. It plunged into Earth's atmosphere and burned up after a set of braking maneuvers under ground control.

Chen Dong is a Chinese pilot and astronaut selected as part of the Shenzhou program. A fighter pilot in the People's Liberation Army Air Force, he was selected to be a CNSA astronaut in 2010.

Chinese next-generation crewed spacecraft working title

Next-generation crewed spacecraft, is a type of reusable spacecraft developed and manufactured by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The prototype of the spacecraft underwent its first uncrewed test flight on 5 May 2020.

References

  1. Barbosa, Rui C. (25 June 2016). "China successfully debuts Long March 7 rocket". NASASpaceflight.com .
  2. 1 2 Ping, Wu (June 2016). "China Manned Space Programme: Its Achievements and Future Developments" (PDF). China Manned Space Agency. Retrieved 2016-06-28.
  3. Clark, Stephen (17 September 2017). "Chinese space station freighter concludes refueling demo mission". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  4. Barbosa, Rui C. (19 April 2017). "Tianzhou-1 – China launches and docks debut cargo resupply". NASASpaceFlight.com . Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  5. "中国货运飞船征名超5万个" [Chinese cargo ship over 50,000 new name] (in Chinese). China Network Television. 2011-05-20. Retrieved 2016-06-27.
  6. "中国货运飞船征名结束 龙舟等10个名字入选" [Chinese cargo ship sign name ends dragon boat 10 names selected] (in Chinese). 163.com. 2011-07-09. Retrieved 2016-06-27.
  7. "中国载人空间站命名"天宫"货运飞船为"天舟"" [China's manned space station cargo spacecraft to be named Tianzhou] (in Chinese). China News. 2013-10-31. Retrieved 2016-06-27.
  8. "China's Tianzhou 1 cargo carrier docks with space lab in orbit – Spaceflight Now".