18 April 2018 China's space scientists are exploring ways of using wireless charging systems, similar to those used for mobile phones or electric toothbrushes, in rocket design. According to Liu Fei, the project manager at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT), dozens of devices in any rocket, including the control system and telemetry, still need to be connected with the power sources by cable. "Cables weighing hundreds of kilograms form a huge network with a wide variety of hidden dangers and a multitude of potential problems," Liu said. However, he noted that compared with small electronic products, wireless power supplies and information transmission in rockets are a very much more complicated business. MORE...
16 April 2018 Chinese are now eagerly looking to its own navigation app that's expected to debut next month and greatly improve the navigation accuracy to within a meter. Many netizens expressed the hope of shifting from GPS to China's own Beidou navigation and positioning system. MORE...
17 April 2018 The State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense finally confirmed publicly the cause of the CZ-5 failure from last summer: a quality issue in the structure of the turbopump in the YF-77 cryogenic engines of the Long March 5 core first stage.
Already during the IAC2017 in Adelaide, Australia, China confirmed that the failure of the CZ-5 was related to the first stage's core engines. In November 2017, unofficial reports emerged that the cause of the failure was pin-pointed and the talk was about the turbo pump. Several space expert websites (compare: spaceflight101.com) wrote already earlier this year that "a structural problem causing the turbopump rotor shaft enclosure cap within one of the YF-77 engines to break off and created a blockage within the propellant line."
11 April 2018 The China-Arab States BDS/GNSS Center, the first overseas center for China's indigenous BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS), was officially inaugurated in Tunisia on 10 April. The center is established as a pilot project between China and the Tunisia-based Arab Information and Communication Technology Organization (AICTO), an Arab governmental organization under the Arab League, to promote the global application of the BDS, said Ran Chengqi, director of China Satellite Navigation Office. MORE...
12 April 2018 The Chang'e 4 lunar probe will carry a tin containing seeds of potato and arabidopsis, a small flowering plant related to cabbage and mustard, and probably some silkworm eggs to conduct the first biological experiment on the Moon. The "lunar mini biosphere" experiment was designed by 28 Chinese universities, led by southwest China's Chongqing University, a conference on scientific and technological innovation of Chongqing Municipality has heard. MORE...
10 April 2018 The first group of China's Yaogan-31 remote sensing satellites were sent into space on 10 April at 12:25 h Beijing time from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China. The satellites were carried by a Long March-4C rocket, the 271st mission for the Long March rocket family. The mission also sent a micro nano technology experiment satellite into orbit. MORE...
10 April 2018 Beijing-based military expert Zhou Chenming said Vanuatu would not be suitable for a military base, but China was planning to test more rockets – many of which come down in the sparsely populated South Pacific – and would need a monitoring and control station in the region. “China needs a space control station in the South Pacific because it is going to launch more heavy rockets,” Zhou said. MORE...
09 April 2018 Taikonaut Chen Dong said in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) that the space station era has set higher requirements for the astronauts. "The manned space program has entered the space station era, which means that the astronauts will stay in space for a longer time with more tasks to be performed. This has set higher requirements for our physical condition, knowledge, mental status and skills, and brought more challenges," said Chen, who carried out Shenzhou-11 mission in 2016. MORE on CCTV ...(interview in Mandarin but storyline in English)
05 April 2018 China's domestically-produced satellite navigation system BeiDou is said to have made significant progress on its accuracy. At a press conference on Tuesday, BeiDou engineers claimed that a new accurate positioning chip can now help users arrive at their destinations with an error margin of just one to two meters. The positioning accuracy improved from 10 meters to within one to two meters, allowing to distinguish the difference between the main highway and a side road. All this is now possible with the release of a new accurate positioning chip from China's very own satellite navigation system BeiDou. MORE...
09 April 2018 Software-based satellitea, which takes advantage of the internet's open source, can work in a way similar to the Android operating system to research and develop its software and hardware. Customers can use the platform to develop, test and debug software. "The satellite Tianzhi 1 will be sent mainly to lay the foundation for a network and to test key technologies for the software-defined satellite system. We are planning to send one satellite each year to enrich the system," Zhao Junsuo, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Software where the satellite was developed, told the Global Times on 08 April. MORE... photos of Tianzhi 1 on the CCTV website
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