On May 10, the Long March-7 Yao-7 carrier rocket carried the Tianzhou-6 cargo spacecraft, and rushed to the Chinese space station, the space home, with a full load of cargo. Subsequently, the Tianzhou-6 cargo spacecraft will rendezvous and dock with the orbiting space station assembly.
Tianzhou-6 started its space journey and is also setting many records. Tianzhou-6 is the first ship of a new batch of cargo spacecraft in China, and it is also the most efficient cargo spacecraft in the world. This launch is the first flight mission after the Chinese space station entered the application and development stage. So, what does Tianzhou-6 look like? How much can you bear? What cargo was delivered to the space station this time? Please find out with the reporter.
On May 7, the combination of the Tianzhou-6 cargo spacecraft and the Long March-7 Yao-7 carrier rocket was transferred vertically to the launch tower.
Golden partner exclusive delivery
The Tianzhou on the sea takes off, and the Shenzhou faces each other across the sky.
The Long March-7 Yao-7 carrier rocket lifted the Tianzhou-6 cargo spacecraft into the sky and sent a new express delivery to the Chinese space station. Hundreds of kilometers away at the Chinese space station, the astronauts of the flight crew of Shenzhou 15 welcomed the arrival of Tianzhou 6 with great anticipation.
Tianzhou Express delivered home, the Long March 7 Yaoqi carrier rocket and Tianzhou 6 cargo spacecraft, which contributed to the golden partners. Although their predecessors have cooperated tacitly many times, challenges still exist in the face of new tasks.
Completing rendezvous and docking in the vast space is like threading a needle. Any slight error may cause the two docked spacecraft to pass by. This requires the launch vehicle to launch with zero window.
In all the launch missions of the space station construction, we have aimed at a narrow window and strived for a zero window.Although many major launch missions have been successfully completed, for us, every launch is a start from scratch. Wang Yuliang, commander of the Tianzhou-6 launch mission 01 at the Wenchang Space Launch Site, said.
The launch of Tianzhou-6 is the first expedition of an improved cargo spacecraft, with more than 90 technical status changes; the Long March 7 Yao-7 launch vehicle is the first to implement a new test and launch process, and there is basically no time margin for these new factors. This mission has brought many new situations, new challenges, and new tests.
In order to ensure safety, the staff continued to track the status of the rocket and launch site equipment and facilities, closely tracked changes in technical status, paid close attention to issues such as launch day work, low-temperature propellant support, and typhoon protection during missions, to ensure detailed and sufficient identification of technical status.
There is a saying in the aerospace industry: the aerospace industry has complex technologies and huge systems, and each mission is not a simple repetition of previous missions. A mistake in any link, a flaw in any work, or a failure in any component may lead to the failure of the entire task.
In each mission preparation stage, we will adopt the most stringent standards, and resolutely launch without hidden dangers and go to the sky without problems. Wang Yuliang said that in recent years, Wenchang Space Launch Site has introduced the ISO9001 standard and fully implemented the quality management system certification; on the basis of the quality management system, it has built an integrated management system for quality, environment and occupational health and safety; vigorously promoted the reliability of equipment and facilities, Improvement of test and launch process, optimization of organizational model, integration of test and launch, measurement and control, communication, meteorology, maintenance and many other system data Through a series of measures, Wenchang Space Launch Site has realized the acceleration of construction progress, Construction process specification and equipment quality control and other achievements are deeply integrated into the front line of the position and the headquarters of the computer room, and also provide strong support for the successful launch missions of the space station stage.
In space about 400 kilometers from the ground, from guiding Tianzhou-6 to the predetermined location, to rendezvous and docking with the space station assembly, it is inseparable from the accurate guarantee of the measurement and control communication system.
Under the guidance of the measurement and control communication system, Tianzhou-6 steadily approached the space station. The answering machine is the core single machine of Tiandi Communication. After the spacecraft lifts off, it establishes a communication link with the ground, all relying on the transponder to match the bridge. In the live TV broadcast, the audience heard that the two-way acquisition of the target was found to be completed, that is, the transponder on the spacecraft established contact with the passing ground station.
If the transponder is like a special train traveling between the sky and the earth, carrying Tianzhou-6's remote control, telemetry, voice and other important information for the ferry between the sky and the earth, the air-to-air communication is the connection between the space station assembly and Tianzhou-6 rendezvous and docking member. The equipment is composed of multiple devices such as antennas, air-to-air communication machines, and interfaces. It is configured in pairs on two spacecraft that need to be docked. It undertakes the two-way data transmission task between the rendezvous and docking section and the evacuation section of the spacecraft, and is responsible for transmitting commands and attitudes. and location data.
When Tianzhou-6 is 100 kilometers away from the space station assembly, the two can establish communication, and finally realize that the two spacecraft arrive at the same place.
Thousands of miles through the needle automatic sign
In order to welcome the arrival of Tianzhou 6, during the May Day holiday, the astronauts on the flight crew of Shenzhou 15 were somewhat busy. They sorted out the remaining cargo on Tianzhou-5, some of the cargo was left in the space station, and the rest of the consumables were placed in Tianzhou-5, and they were ablated and destroyed when they re-entered the atmosphere.
After everything is ready, the astronauts wait to sign for the new courier from the earth. Signing for express delivery in space is not as simple as signing for it on earth. It requires the close cooperation of the space and the earth to ensure successful sign-in.
As we all know, space rendezvous and docking is one of the three basic technologies for manned spaceflight activities. It is highly complex and precise, and it is vividly called thousands of miles through a needle. At present, China's rendezvous and docking technology is becoming more and more mature, with obvious advantages
High execution efficiency. The Tianhe core module is the basic module of the space station, and the construction process of the space station needs to be carried out on the Tianhe core module. The Tianhe core module is equipped with multiple docking ports and berthing ports. The berthing ports are connected to the Wentian Experimental Module and Mengtian Experimental Module, while the docking ports are used to dock cargo spacecraft and manned spacecraft. This time, the rendezvous and docking of Tianzhou-6 is the rear port of Tianhe core module. The advantage of docking backward ports is that theIt will be more convenient and efficient for astronauts to carry materials.
The docking is more secure. From Tianzhou-1 to Tianzhou-4, the cargo spacecraft rendezvous and docked in the unmanned state of the space home, so they can only choose the automatic mode. The Tianzhou-5 flight mission is different. The space station begins to welcome the cargo spacecraft in a manned state, which means that when the spacecraft encounters a failure during the automatic rendezvous and docking process, it can switch to manual mode, and the astronauts in the space station manually operate the spacecraft. Rendezvous and docking. This time, Tianzhou-6 adopts automatic rendezvous and docking, and is equipped with a manual mode. These two modes are mutually backup and more secure.
Unpack the express delivery
Tianzhou Express Luxury Gift Package
Looking forward to it, looking forward to it, the Tianzhou-6 cargo spacecraft is finally here!
In the Chinese space station, the three astronauts were extremely excited, looking forward to unpacking the express delivery from the earth as soon as possible.
As the only cargo spacecraft launch in China's manned spaceflight this year, TianZhou 6 sent more supplies for the two future flight crews of Shenzhou 16 and Shenzhou 17. Known as an enhanced version of the cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-6 is hard-core and full of cargo.
The body is bigger
The face is still familiar, but the figure is more burly. Tianzhou-6 is an improved cargo spacecraft. The loading capacity of the entire ship has been increased from 6.9 tons to 7.4 tons. It is the cargo spacecraft with the largest cargo transportation capacity and the most complete on-orbit support capability in the world. In other words, Tianzhou-6 has a stronger ability to pull cargo.
Although the appearance is similar, the inside has changed a lot. Compared with Tianzhou-5, the effective loading volume of Tianzhou-6 has been expanded by 20%. How is this done? Previously, the Tianzhou cargo spacecraft consisted of two parts: the cargo cabin and the propulsion cabin. The cargo cabin was divided into a front cone section, a column section and a rear cone section. The column section is 4 meters long and is mainly used for storage, and the rear cone section is for placing platform electronics. The propulsion cabin has two floors, a total of 8 propellant storage tanks. Improvements have been made on Tianzhou-6. The number of propellant storage tanks on two floors has been reduced from eight to four on one floor. The space saved can be used to store the electronic equipment of the platform that was previously placed in the rear cone section, so that the effective loading volume of the cargo compartment is obvious. increased.
There are more goods
The types of materials transported by Tianzhou-6 are not much different from those in the past, mainly including clothing, food, drinking water and so on. Among them, the fresh fruit weighs about 70 kilograms, which is almost twice the weight of the fruit carried by Tianzhou-5. These fruits will guarantee the food needs of astronauts. When the space station flies in space, sometimes it needs to adjust its attitude, which will consume a lot of fuel. Therefore, in addition to delivering materials to the astronauts, the cargo spacecraft also has an important task to replenish propellant to the space station. Tianzhou-6 carried 1.75 tons of propellant, part of which was added to the space station, and the rest was reserved for Tianzhou-6's own use.
The goods have been updated
In addition to the daily supplies needed by the astronauts, there is also a set of electric propulsion xenon cylinders in the cargo list of Tianzhou-6. It can be used as a backup for the fuel propellant of the space station, supplementing the working fluid for the electric thrusters used by the space station to maintain its orbit and adjust its attitude, effectively saving fuel and propellant consumption. In addition, Tianzhou-6 also carries a number of loads for scientific experiments and verification.
The dream is boundless, and the boat travels thousands of miles. Thanks to the Tianzhou cargo spacecraft, the Chinese dream of staying in space for a long time has become a reality. In just 6 years, from Tianzhou-1 to Tianzhou-6, the Tianzhou cargo spacecraft has won consecutive battles, sent valuable materials and made important contributions to the construction and development of China's space station and the work and life of astronauts.
In the future, the most able to bring goods, the mostThe Tianzhou cargo spacecraft that can carry cargo will also be continuously upgraded according to mission requirements. The upgraded version of Tianzhou is worth looking forward to by the Chinese people!
(People's Liberation Army Newspaper, Wenchang, Hainan, May 10th)
Mission diagram of Tianzhou-6
Drawing by Cheng Chunlei
Memorabilia of Tianzhou Cargo Spaceship
★On April 20, 2017, Tianzhou-1, China's first cargo spacecraft, was successfully launched and completed automatic rendezvous and docking with Tiangong-2 space laboratory, marking China's aerospace industry entering the space station era.
★On May 29, 2021, Tianzhou-2 was successfully launched and completed automatic rendezvous and docking with the Tianhe core module. This is the first cargo spacecraft launched during the key technology verification phase of the Chinese space station.
★On September 20, 2021, Tianzhou-3 was successfully launched, and completed automatic rendezvous and docking with the Tianhe core module and Tianzhou-2 assembly, and transferred to the flight state of the three-chamber (ship) assembly.
★On May 10, 2022, Tianzhou-4 was successfully launched, and the Chinese space station shifted from the key technology verification stage to the construction stage.
★On November 12, 2022, Tianzhou-5 was successfully launched, realizing the first 2-hour automatic fast rendezvous and docking, setting a record for the fastest rendezvous and docking of human spacecraft.