Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Making its public debut is China’s next-generation crewed spacecraft.

The once flown capsule is on display at the Airshow China 2021 in Guangdong Province’s Zhuhai City.

This craft is larger than the now-in-use Shenzhou spacecraft. China space officials say the new vehicle extends the qualities of reliability and safety, and will be reusable.

Huang Kewu, deputy head of the manned lunar exploration general department at the Fifth Research Institute of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).
Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

 

Moon exploration capsule

In a China Central Television (CCTV) interview, Huang Kewu, deputy head of the manned lunar exploration general department at the Fifth Research Institute of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said:

Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

 

“The new generation of manned spacecraft is designed to meet the needs of our manned lunar exploration and space station operations in the future. The new generation of manned space transportation vehicle, which has been tested, could carry six to seven astronauts, while our Shenzhou spacecraft could only take three astronauts.”

With a launch mass of 21.6 tons, the next-generation piloted spacecraft is China’s largest return and reentry spacecraft launched with the largest amount of propellant. Some of the new technologies were successfully tested in its first flight in May of last year.

China’s next-generation piloted spaceship undergoes landing test using airbags.
Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Test flight

The prototype next-generation spacecraft was hurled into orbit by a Long March-5B launch vehicle from the Wenchang Space Launch Center, Wenchang, Hainan Province, China, on May 5, 2020. The craft landed safely on May 8 at the Dongfeng landing site and is designed for transportation of both astronauts and cargo.

The right side of the vehicle carried nearly 1,000 pieces of supplies to verify the spaceship’s cargo capacity. The left side of the craft was configured as a living area for astronauts, with a folding table and a toilet.

The experimental spaceship flew in orbit for two days and 19 hours, during which it carried out a series of space science and technology experiments, reported the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

Post-flight condition of China’s next-generation spaceship.
Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

“We have achieved significant breakthroughs in thermal protection and precision control for the return and reentry, as well as in engine design and undamaged landing,” Huang told CCTV.

“The achievements in manned space transportation technologies have enabled us to take a leap from lagging behind the pacemakers to running beside them, and this lays a sound technological foundation for our future manned lunar spacecraft,” said Huang.

Go to this CCTV video at:

https://pv.news.cctvplus.com/2021/1001/8230227_PREVIEW_20211001180050702.mp4

Go to these Inside Outer Space stories at:

China’s New-gen Spaceship – First Inside Look (Updated)

https://www.leonarddavid.com/chinas-new-gen-spaceship-first-inside-look/

China’s New-generation Spaceship Readied for Return Home

https://www.leonarddavid.com/chinas-new-generation-spaceship-readied-for-return-home/

China’s New Spaceship: Space Station and Human Moon Exploration Plans

https://www.leonarddavid.com/chinas-new-spaceship-space-station-and-human-moon-exploration-plans/

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