Author Topic: LIVE: TG-2 Tiangong-2 - CZ-2F/T2 - JSLC - September 15, 2016 (14:04 UTC)  (Read 106655 times)

Offline Satori

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Will the cargo vehicles be used for orbital boosting and the like for Tiangong-2?

That's a good possibility. If TG-2 is meant to stay in orbit far more longer than TG-1, it surely wont rely only on the fuel launched at the beginning of its mission. But, in other way, with China practicing the fuel transfer in orbit with TG-2 and with the cargo vehicles, its hard to tell at this time.

Other question is: What is China going to do with the original Tiangong-2? We know that this was similar to TG-1. Can it be transformed in some kind of 'Star Module' like the ones that were docked with Salyut-6/7? Surely, there will be time enough to upgrade the «old» module with a new docking port.

Offline Star One

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Will the cargo vehicles be used for orbital boosting and the like for Tiangong-2?

That's a good possibility. If TG-2 is meant to stay in orbit far more longer than TG-1, it surely wont rely only on the fuel launched at the beginning of its mission. But, in other way, with China practicing the fuel transfer in orbit with TG-2 and with the cargo vehicles, its hard to tell at this time.

Other question is: What is China going to do with the original Tiangong-2? We know that this was similar to TG-1. Can it be transformed in some kind of 'Star Module' like the ones that were docked with Salyut-6/7? Surely, there will be time enough to upgrade the «old» module with a new docking port.

Nice idea that would also give them experience of linking big modules in space as well as an easy way to create a largish complex. I imagine with a complex made up of a Shenzhou vehicle, Tiangong-2, additional module & large cargo vehicle you could go beyond a three person crew?
« Last Edit: 06/11/2013 09:52 PM by Star One »

Offline Satori

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Will the cargo vehicles be used for orbital boosting and the like for Tiangong-2?

That's a good possibility. If TG-2 is meant to stay in orbit far more longer than TG-1, it surely wont rely only on the fuel launched at the beginning of its mission. But, in other way, with China practicing the fuel transfer in orbit with TG-2 and with the cargo vehicles, its hard to tell at this time.

Other question is: What is China going to do with the original Tiangong-2? We know that this was similar to TG-1. Can it be transformed in some kind of 'Star Module' like the ones that were docked with Salyut-6/7? Surely, there will be time enough to upgrade the «old» module with a new docking port.

Nice idea that would also give them experience of linking big modules in space as well as an easy way to create a largish complex. I imagine with a complex made up of a Shenzhou vehicle, Tiangong-2, additional module & large cargo vehicle you could go beyond a three person crew?

Its possible but only for a matter of days and while exchanging crews like in Salyut-6/7. But I don't think they are planning to do something like that with TG-2.

Offline Phillip Clark

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I am starting to get confused about Tiangong 2.

I understood that what I'll call Tiangong 2A was to be like Tiangong 1.   But that got cancelled and got replaced by Tiangong 3, which I will now call Tiangong 2B.

Does this make sense?

If this was correct then Tiangong 2A is being reconfigered to act as a cargo freighter and both it and Tiangong 2B would be launched by a CZ-7 variant from the new launch site.   In this I have made the "reasonable" assumption that Tiangong 2B is in the 13-15 tonnes class - perhaps a preliminary variant of the modular space station's core module.

But there is talk that Tiangong 2B will be launched from Jiuquan which means a CZ-2F variant.   That suggests that it will be similar to Tiangong 1.   I remain to be convinced that the Tiangong 1 design can be modified for two docking ports.

Any thoughts, rebuttals?   Am I talking garbage?   (Quite possible these days!)


Offline Liss

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In his March article, Zhou Jianping does not mention which launch vehicle would be used for the 'new' TG-2. He only mentions SZ-11 and a cargo vehicle with fuel to be docked with it, and says about flexible solar arrays test as of one of the main goals.
But -- as the 'new' TG-2 is described in the Space Station section, being first phase of this project, we should accept that it is the 13 ton laboratory launched by CZ-7 from Wenchang as was described earlier under TG-3 name.
It's also interesting Zhou Jianping does not list regenerative life support systems as the test subject for TG-2. Seems these were delayed to the experimental service module -- which may become the basis of the station or remain another test vehicle.
This message reflects my personal opinion based on open sources of information.

Offline tonyq

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A few Chinese media reports about today, in the wake of the successful conclusion of SZ-10, that TG-2 is planned to be launched 'within 2 years.' 

Offline Apollo-phill

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I was at Paris Airshow at weekend and the guy on the Chinese Great Wall Industry stand said that the next manned flight by China would be "....sometime in 2015...". Would not give any specifics when asked but I don't think he knew anyway.

Phill

Offline Phillip Clark

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I was at Paris Airshow at weekend and the guy on the Chinese Great Wall Industry stand said that the next manned flight by China would be "....sometime in 2015...". Would not give any specifics when asked but I don't think he knew anyway.
Phill

Often these guys know little more than we do - maybe less than we do!   Everything seems to be very departmentalised.   In 1989 at the Paris Air Show I was asking the CGWIC people about a "navigation satellite" picture in their own brochure and no-one appeared to know anything about it.   It wasn't Beidou, by the way: it looked like the main Shijian 2 payload.

Offline JimO

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[quote author=Phillip Clark
...If this was correct then Tiangong 2A is being reconfigered to act as a cargo freighter and both it and Tiangong 2B would be launched by a CZ-7 variant from the new launch site.  ...[/quote]

I want to remind this discussion that Tiangong had neither the orbital navigation nor then thruster arrangement to be an 'active' rendezvous vehicle, and 'reconfiguration' to add-on such capabilities may not be easy.

As an example: it's not enough to have rotation control and one axis -- usually +X --  of 'translation'. An active docking vehicle must have both plus and minus X, along with balanced lateral translation, usually needing paired fore/aft thrusters [or midbody thrusters near the center of mass] to nudge the vehicle 'sideways' [Y and Z axes] without imparting significant rotation.

The 'Progress' and Apollo CSM thruster arrangements may serve as models.  Perhaps a set of 'quads' as on the Apollo SM could be bolted around the new vehicle's midsection. Maybe not so hard after all.

Offline B. Hendrickx

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A few Chinese media reports about today, in the wake of the successful conclusion of SZ-10, that TG-2 is planned to be launched 'within 2 years.' 

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/sci/2013-06/26/c_132488807.htm

Quote
China will continue to carry out development and construction of a space laboratory and plans to launch Tiangong-2 space lab around 2015, an aerospace official told a press conference Wednesday.

Wang Zhaoyao, director of China's manned space program office, said the country plans to put in orbit an experimental core module of a space station around 2018 and complete the construction of a manned space station by 2020.

Prior to 2020, China will launch a series of cargo and manned spacecraft to deliver material supplies and transport astronauts to the future space lab and space station, according to Wang.

China will use new generation rockets with larger carrying capacities,said Yuan Jie, deputy general manager of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp., at the press conference.

The Long March 5 carrier rocket will be used for the launching of the manned space station, and Long March 7 for carrying the cargo spacecraft for the station.

The new generation rockets will use new technologies. For example, new engines with non-toxic and non-polluting liquefied propellent will be used,which are safer and more environment friendly, according to Yuan.

The two types of rockets, both of which are under development, will be launched at a new launch site in south China's Hainan Province.

According to Yuan, the maiden flight for both rockets will be completed before 2015.

The post-flight press conference (with English translation) can be seen here :
http://english.cntv.cn/program/newsupdate/20130626/103011.shtml

The last question was about shortterm plans for the Chinese manned space programme. A lengthy answer followed, but unfortunately CCTV cut off its live broadcast of the press conference before the English translation was given.   

Offline Danderman

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I want to remind this discussion that Tiangong had neither the orbital navigation nor then thruster arrangement to be an 'active' rendezvous vehicle, and 'reconfiguration' to add-on such capabilities may not be easy.

As an example: it's not enough to have rotation control and one axis -- usually +X --  of 'translation'. An active docking vehicle must have both plus and minus X, along with balanced lateral translation, usually needing paired fore/aft thrusters [or midbody thrusters near the center of mass] to nudge the vehicle 'sideways' [Y and Z axes] without imparting significant rotation.

The 'Progress' and Apollo CSM thruster arrangements may serve as models.  Perhaps a set of 'quads' as on the Apollo SM could be bolted around the new vehicle's midsection. Maybe not so hard after all.


A good example of this is the Russian TKS/FGB vehicle vs the Zvezda/Salyut/DOS/OPS vehicle. The former is capable of active maneuvering for docking, but the latter has a very limited maneuver capability, even though both vehicles are produced by the same shops. To modify a DOS vehicle for active maneuvering would be a big job.
« Last Edit: 06/26/2013 09:29 PM by Danderman »

Offline Phillip Clark

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We now have the video available on YouTube



This shows the Chinese plans for their future space station work.

Screen shots from the video show that Tiangong 2 is essentially the same (outside!) as Tiangong 1, and so I would expect that it will be launched atop a CZ-2F variant from Jiuquan.

There is also an animation which shows the planned cargo freighter which is to be flown to Tiangong 2 and showing the two docked.   The docking takes place at the same port which has been used by Shenzhou spacecraft for Tiangong 1 and at the time of this docking there is no Shenzhou docked.   This strongly suggests that the cargo freighter visit - to replenish propellant supplies - will take place while Tiangong 2 is unoccupied and therefore there is no need for a second docking port on Tiangong 2.   Maybe it will take place between two Shenzhou occupations so that a crew can check out Tiangong before the first freighter arrives?

Maybe its a trick of the lighting in the video or my poor eyesight, but while the freighter looks to be the same design as Tiangong 2, in the docked configuration it appears to have a smaller diameter.

The video does say that crews will perform "medium" stays in space, maybe 1-2 months, on Tiangong 2.
« Last Edit: 09/23/2013 10:26 AM by Phillip Clark »

Offline heinkel174

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Screen shots from the video show that Tiangong 2 is essentially the same (outside!) as Tiangong 1, and so I would expect that it will be launched atop a CZ-2F variant from Jiuquan.

There is also an animation which shows the planned cargo freighter which is to be flown to Tiangong 2 and showing the two docked.   The docking takes place at the same port which has been used by Shenzhou spacecraft for Tiangong 1 and at the time of this docking there is no Shenzhou docked.   This strongly suggests that the cargo freighter visit - to replenish propellant supplies - will take place while Tiangong 2 is unoccupied and therefore there is no need for a second docking port on Tiangong 2.   Maybe it will take place between two Shenzhou occupations so that a crew can check out Tiangong before the first freighter arrives?

Maybe its a trick of the lighting in the video or my poor eyesight, but while the freighter looks to be the same design as Tiangong 2, in the docked configuration it appears to have a smaller diameter.

The video does say that crews will perform "medium" stays in space, maybe 1-2 months, on Tiangong 2.

This is exactly what members on 9ifly have been speculating for months.

Maybe they'll do a ferry flight between the undocked TG-2 and cargo ship, like what Soyuz T-15 did. This is totally possible given the androgynous docking mechanism. Shenzhou has a more spacious orbital module so at least a few hundreds kg of supplies can be transferred at a time.
« Last Edit: 09/24/2013 12:50 AM by heinkel174 »

Offline Phillip Clark

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So we have Shenzhou 11 docking with Tiangong 2 and then returning to Earth.   Cargo freighter launched, automatic rendezvous/docking with Tiangong 2, transfer of propellant and then undocking and parking conveniently close by.   Shenzhou 12 launched, initial docking with the cargo vehicle to collect fresh sandwiches and other goodies, and then a transfer to Tiangong 2 for a residency.   After the crew leaves, maybe a second top-up of the propellant tanks and Shenzhou 13 repeats the Shenzhou 12 profile?

Or, of course, the Shenzhous could always carry the really fresh sandwiches and the cargo freighter is carrying equipment and other supplies to be transported to Tiangong.   Either way, the profiles of 12 and 13 would be the same.

Now, that would make life interesting!   I am looking forward to it already. :-)

Offline Phillip Clark

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Looking back at the third photo which I posted above - a screenshot from the new Chinese space station documentary - can anyone explain what we are seeing here please?   The top screenshot is Tiangong 2, the second is the cargo freighter (note that it has fewer antennae, etc than Tiangong 2) and the third is supposed to represent the two docked together.   Except that it clearly shows a Tiangong-class module (left)  docked with something else which isn't a Tiangong module (right)!

Any thoughts or explanations?   At first I thought it might be my lousy eyesight and I was missing something obvious.   Maybe the animator simply screwed up?   Or maybe if there is a Chinese language version of the commentary that will explain everything?

Offline Star One

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I am mildly surprised that they don't go with two docking ports on their second station. I know this transition took a while with Salyut but then something like two docking ports had never been done before.

Offline Phillip Clark

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I am mildly surprised that they don't go with two docking ports on their second station. I know this transition took a while with Salyut but then something like two docking ports had never been done before.

I would guess that the design changes required to have a second docking port - at the rear? - on Tiangong 2 are too great for a one-off mission.   The second docking port was introduced with the second generation Soviet Salyuts so it was not for a one-off station design: Salyuts 6, 7, the Mir core and the second generation Almaz stations.   So, a single docking port for Tiangong 2 makes perfect sense.

Offline Satori

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I would be very surprised if TG-2 has only one docking port.

Offline Star One

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I am mildly surprised that they don't go with two docking ports on their second station. I know this transition took a while with Salyut but then something like two docking ports had never been done before.

I would guess that the design changes required to have a second docking port - at the rear? - on Tiangong 2 are too great for a one-off mission.   The second docking port was introduced with the second generation Soviet Salyuts so it was not for a one-off station design: Salyuts 6, 7, the Mir core and the second generation Almaz stations.   So, a single docking port for Tiangong 2 makes perfect sense.

Is this station only to have a very limited life then, is there much at all design wise that is different from the first I wonder?

Offline Phillip Clark

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I am mildly surprised that they don't go with two docking ports on their second station. I know this transition took a while with Salyut but then something like two docking ports had never been done before.

I would guess that the design changes required to have a second docking port - at the rear? - on Tiangong 2 are too great for a one-off mission.   The second docking port was introduced with the second generation Soviet Salyuts so it was not for a one-off station design: Salyuts 6, 7, the Mir core and the second generation Almaz stations.   So, a single docking port for Tiangong 2 makes perfect sense.

Is this station only to have a very limited life then, is there much at all design wise that is different from the first I wonder?


Unless the facilities were incorporated into Tiangong 1 but never intended for use, Tiangong 2 would need to have a propellant transfer system.   Also, it is clearly intended to host crews for longer than two weeks.   So, I would expect Tiangong 2 to be an "uprated Tiangong 1" rather than something radically new.

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