Author Topic: New Chinese manned space capsule  (Read 7056 times)

Offline Satori

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New Chinese manned space capsule
« on: 05/12/2015 11:17 PM »
From the latest GoTaikonauts! newsletter...

"A little noticed news was that China has formally started development of a new generation of manned spacecraft. CAST started the study in June 2013. After three months of technical reviews and refining of the design, it was finally approved by the government in October 2014. In December, CAST revealed that they are preparing an air-drop test of a scale model of the new manned capsule, reusing the back-up parachutes of Shenzhou 10. According to information revealed earlier, the new manned spacecraft is similar to Apollo or Orion."

Offline Steve G

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #1 on: 05/12/2015 11:53 PM »
When upstart commercial companies such as SpaceX are in advance development of far superior spacecraft, it's no wonder that they need to move forward from what is essential a 1960's design.

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #2 on: 05/13/2015 12:59 AM »
When upstart commercial companies such as SpaceX are in advance development of far superior spacecraft, it's no wonder that they need to move forward from what is essential a 1960's design.

Correction.   China took a basic 1960s design, modified it for what they wanted and installed 1990s and now more recent technology in it.   Also, it does what the Chinese want it to do - they have not over-designed it.

And the SpaceX and other "advanced" spacecraft are unproven with a crew at present.

Offline Impaler

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #3 on: 05/13/2015 06:04 AM »
So would this new capsule have a large crew capacity, and if so by how much?

Offline Steven Pietrobon

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #4 on: 05/13/2015 06:14 AM »
Only the Chinese know, but a good guess would be seven crew.
Akin's Laws of Spacecraft Design #1:  Engineering is done with numbers.  Analysis without numbers is only an opinion.

Offline Star One

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #5 on: 05/13/2015 06:36 AM »
No doubt there will be suitability for BEO missions built into it.

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #6 on: 05/13/2015 07:44 AM »
On Facebook someone posted a summary of the Go Taikonauts! paper.   Apparently the spacecraft comes in two versions.   A 14-tonnes ferry which can take six people to LEO or be carried on a Mars mission or a 20 tonnes four-person version for lunar missions.   The latter seems light compared with the Apollo CSM, but it all depends on the mission profile and which rockets do which burns at the Moon.

Offline baldusi

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #7 on: 05/13/2015 12:26 PM »
On Facebook someone posted a summary of the Go Taikonauts! paper.   Apparently the spacecraft comes in two versions.   A 14-tonnes ferry which can take six people to LEO or be carried on a Mars mission or a 20 tonnes four-person version for lunar missions.   The latter seems light compared with the Apollo CSM, but it all depends on the mission profile and which rockets do which burns at the Moon.
Aren't those numbers suspiciously close to the PTK and PTK-L?

Online Phillip Clark

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #8 on: 05/13/2015 01:20 PM »
I have not seen the original Chinese paper, simply second and third hand reports of what is in there.

I wondered whether the CZ-Heavy launch vehicle would see the introduction of piloted spacecraft like the ones recorded.

Offline Impaler

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #9 on: 05/14/2015 01:53 AM »
On Facebook someone posted a summary of the Go Taikonauts! paper.   Apparently the spacecraft comes in two versions.   A 14-tonnes ferry which can take six people to LEO or be carried on a Mars mission or a 20 tonnes four-person version for lunar missions.   The latter seems light compared with the Apollo CSM, but it all depends on the mission profile and which rockets do which burns at the Moon.

I've heard that if the 3 part Soyuz/Shenzhou design had been employed that a 3 or even 4 person lunar duration craft would be far less massive them Apollo/Orion turned out to be because of the much lighter reentry capsule which would make for a correspondingly smaller service module.  If the Chinese are smart they will stick with the current Shenzhou design but simply enlarge it around 3 to 3.3 meters in diameter, that would more then double the volume.

Also the Shenzhou orbital module can detach and reattach on orbit while remaining pressurized.  It is thus conceivable that a lunar landing could be conducted with the orbital module acting as the lunar assent stage.  The mission would consist of a dual launch of a Lunar Injection stage with the lunar decent module on top, and a second launch with the Shenzhou with a modified orbital stage and enlarged service module.  The two part lunar vehicle would then be created by the docking of the two stacks nose-2-nose in LEO.  After the lunar injection module is expended and the stack is in lunar orbit all crew would moved into the orbital module and the stack would separate with the orbital module and decent stage going to the lunar surface, and the entry capsule and service module remaining in orbit.  The return from the lunar surface would be in the orbital module alone and would rejoin the waiting unmanned capsule and service module.  The now reunited Shenzhou would perform trans Earth injection and the entry capsule would separate just prior to reentry.

The advantage of this design is that only one life support system and habitation area in the orbital module needs to be provided through out the entire mission so taking all 3 crew members to the lunar surface is straightforward.  Also by utilizing a portion of the Shenzhou as a portion of the lunar module the mass being lifted with the Trans lunar injection stage is minimized.
« Last Edit: 05/14/2015 05:57 AM by Impaler »

Offline newpylong

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #10 on: 05/14/2015 01:36 PM »
It will be interesting to see how "close" it looks to Orion.

Offline notsorandom

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #11 on: 05/14/2015 04:02 PM »
What is interesting is that the Chang'e Lunar return demonstration mission used a scaled down Shenzhou capsule. Many see the sample return effort as a prelude to a human mission. They essentially flew a scale test of the Shenzhou on a Lunar return. It could also be though that they just didn't care about a possible future human Moon program and went with the shape because of their confidence in it.

Offline baldusi

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #12 on: 05/14/2015 07:14 PM »
On Facebook someone posted a summary of the Go Taikonauts! paper.   Apparently the spacecraft comes in two versions.   A 14-tonnes ferry which can take six people to LEO or be carried on a Mars mission or a 20 tonnes four-person version for lunar missions.   The latter seems light compared with the Apollo CSM, but it all depends on the mission profile and which rockets do which burns at the Moon.

I've heard that if the 3 part Soyuz/Shenzhou design had been employed that a 3 or even 4 person lunar duration craft would be far less massive them Apollo/Orion turned out to be because of the much lighter reentry capsule which would make for a correspondingly smaller service module.  If the Chinese are smart they will stick with the current Shenzhou design but simply enlarge it around 3 to 3.3 meters in diameter, that would more then double the volume.
[...]
You have a good point. But the fact that it looks just like the PTK/L LEO/BEO masses, gives me some doubt. Not because you are not right, but because the Chinese human crewed program seems to do few missions, but right. And in that sense, there's a lot of different things to develop for LEO and for BEO.
If they plan con competing with Dragon v1/ CST-100 / PTK, then they need something in LEO that could take four to six passengers, and was pretty reusable. If you want to do lunar missions too, then you either sacrifice the reuse part, or you make a big capsule. I believe that from the Chinese POV, they'll keep the Shenzhou capsule, and might even do a lunar version. But longer term they are planning on mirroring the strategy of the rest of the world. Even the Indian capsule looks like that.

Offline Patchouli

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #13 on: 05/15/2015 02:12 AM »
From the latest GoTaikonauts! newsletter...

"A little noticed news was that China has formally started development of a new generation of manned spacecraft. CAST started the study in June 2013. After three months of technical reviews and refining of the design, it was finally approved by the government in October 2014. In December, CAST revealed that they are preparing an air-drop test of a scale model of the new manned capsule, reusing the back-up parachutes of Shenzhou 10. According to information revealed earlier, the new manned spacecraft is similar to Apollo or Orion."

The Apollo shape has more lift then the Soyuz Head lamp shape which is better for lunar return.
« Last Edit: 05/15/2015 02:50 AM by Patchouli »

Offline JazzFan

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #14 on: 05/15/2015 03:07 PM »
I wonder if the timeline is still between 2025-2030 and aligned with the design and development of CZ-9 to achieve BEO goals?

Offline ืnewsman

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #15 on: 03/08/2017 07:17 AM »
China is making a new-generation manned spaceship which rivals that of world-leading space powers, a space mission expert said.

"Among the next generation of manned spaceships some foreign countries are developing, only the Orion spacecraft of the US can carry out a moon landing mission," Zhang Bainan, a spaceship engineer with China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, told Science and Technology Daily on Tuesday.

China is working on a new manned spaceship that can fly both in low earth orbit, as well as a moon landing mission, Zhang said. He added that the spacecraft is recoverable and has a larger capacity than the new-generation manned spaceship of foreign countries, which can carry six people in low earth orbit and three to four in a moon landing mission. 

As a late-starter in manned space flight, China has made significant advances and its newest spacecraft is set to match the capabilities of other world leaders in space exploration, Zhang said.

Last year, the re-entry module of the new spacecraft was put to the test aboard a Long March-7 rocket.

China first launched a man into space in 2003, 42 years after the former Soviet Union carried out the maiden manned space flight.

The country is projected to build a space station in 2020 and make a manned moon landing in 2030.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2017-03/08/content_28474831.htm

Offline Eric Hedman

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Online Phillip Clark

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Re: New Chinese manned space capsule
« Reply #17 on: 04/28/2017 04:58 PM »
As part of my nosing around on the Chinese web site https://www.chinaspaceflight.com/China-Launch-Schedule.html there are two interesting entries:

2018   CZ-5B launch of "新一代载人飞船试验船" which Google Translate says is "a new generation of manned spacecraft test ship"

2020   CZ-7 launch of "新一代载人飞船首飞" which translates as "a new generation of manned spacecraft first flight"

The CZ-5B launch seems to suggest a launch of the 20 tonnes "lunar" version (boilerplate descent module with service module test?), while the CZ-7 launch could be the 14 tonnes Earth orbit version with "real" modules, not mock-ups.   Of course, the Chinese are in no rush to get this spacecraft operating.   

I would guess that it might fly some shake-down missions to the Tiangong Complex and eventually replacing Shenzhou but its main use will be on the CZ-9 for piloted lunar missions.   I would guess that the service module is built to only perform TEI and course corrections, leaving LOI to a CZ-9 stage or service module forthe lunar lander.

BTW I cannot understand any Chinese characters, so I have to rely on Google for everything in Chinese!

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