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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Status report on Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 docking and how S9 compares with S8...


How is Shenzhou-different from Shenzhou-8in rendezvousdocking

(People's Daily Online)

08:09, June 20, 2012   

Edited and translated by Peopel's Daily Online

In addition to the largest difference of being a manned spacecraftthe Shenzhou-isalso different with the Shenzhou-in the following aspects when it rendezvous anddocks with the Tiangong-1. 

They rendezvous and dock in different directions

The Shenzhou-unmanned spacecraft rendezvous and docks from behind twice,namely the spacecraft catches up with and docks with the space lab moduleTiangong-from behind and then it retreats 140 meters to make the second dockingwith the Tiangong-1. Howeverthe Shenzhou-docks with Tiangong-from the front.The Tiangong-catches up with Shenzhou-and the Shenzhou-automaticallyseparates and retreats 400 meters to make the second docking with the front ofTiangong-1. 

The methods of rendezvous and docking are different

The rendezvous and docking between Shenzhou-and Tiangong-is automatic underthe guide of the rendezvous and docking equipment on the spacecraft while thatbetween Shenzhou-and Tiangong-is not only automatic but also uses the manualcontrol to testify the manually controlled rendezvous and docking technology ofastronauts.

Actuallythe manual control of a spacecraft is equipped on the spacecraft fromShenzhou-to Shenzhou-but astronauts had never had an actual operation inprevious space travelnamely the astronauts only sat in the cabin but did not drive thespacecraftIt will be the first time for the astronauts of Shenzhou-to manually controlthe spacecraft and make rendezvous and docking to personally experience the feelingof driving it.

The environment of rendezvous and docking is different

As the Shenzhou-will make its first space rendezvous and dockingit was designed tostart automatic rendezvous and docking in sunshine area but come to the shadow areaafter finishing the rendezvous and docking so as to reduce the interference caused bythe light waves while the Shenzhou-makes rendezvous and docking in full sunshinearea.

As the light waves in the space will interfere with the measuring equipmenttherendezvous and docking of Shenzhou-is more difficult than that of Shenzhou-and itwill be a severe test for the rendezvous and docking equipment.

From two spacecraft to an integrated whole 

The rendezvous and docking between the Shenzhou-and Tiangong-only completesa rigid connection between the two but the cabin doors connecting the two spacecraftdo not openThereforethey are not a real integrated whole in terms of the innerenvironment of the cabin.

The astronauts of the Shenzhou-will enter in the Tiantong-to work and live as anintegrated wholetherefore the cabin doors of the two spacecraft will openTheShenzhou-will be the first to connect with Tiangong-and they will become twoconnected rooms running in spaceThe astronauts will walk through the Shenzhou-9and enter the Tiangong-to live and workThusthe environmental control and lifesupport equipment including the carbon dioxide purification device and microbialcontrol device will be opened to provide working and living environment similar to thaton the earth.

Source: Beijing Evening News

Related Reading

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  2. Shenzhou-9 launch catches attention of foreign media
  3. Graphics: Shenzhou-9 spacecraft blasts off
  4. President Hu celebrates successful Shenzhou-9 launch
  5. Shenzhou-9 to dock with Tiangong-1 in two days
  6. In pictures: Shenzhou-9 spacecraft blasts off
  7. China to conduct first manned space docking
DESIDERATA: It's good to view on CCTV (via Astro Channel 509 for Ignoramuses in Malaysia:) the special LIVE cast of the docking of S9 and TG1 -- shows China has arrived in space technology and is assured and confident enough to share with the world with this LIVE telecast. Ten years ago, China was still in the backwoods of space tech -- behind USA and Russia (former Soviet Union). It has over the past decade "leapfrogged" in this arena as it underwent a sharp learning curve the advantage of being a LATECOMER, and of course, benefiting from its opening up three decades ago and made tremendous advances in business and economy.


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