Author Topic: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011  (Read 362019 times)

Offline Phillip Clark

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I have been speculating about how we could se the unmanned Shenzhou 8 and Shenzhou 9 docked, with the manned Shenzhou 10 coming along and docking with this assembly.   There are various references to the space lab having two docking ports, but only one is visible in the most common representation which has a Shenzhou (orbital module sans solar panels) coming up to dock.

However, before this video sequence was released, there was a photograph of a mock-up space lab which is clearly in two sections.   Look at the smaller-diameter section on the right-hand side and there is evidence of a docking unit there.   This might sem to confirm my earlier speculations that a 3.35 metres diameter module might be launched pretty-well iert apart from attitude-control thrusters and propellant and then the propulsion module would be launched separately.   The second module has more in common with the diameter of the Shenzhou spacecraft, which is why I have speculated that it could be attached to a Shenzhou service/propulsion module for the rendezvous and docking with the main space lab.   That accounts for the docking post which we cannot see on the assembled station.   Then along comes Shenzhou 10, 11, whatever with its crew, docking at the opposite end of the large diameter module.

Thoughts?   Rebuttals?
« Last Edit: 09/28/2011 06:42 PM by Andy USA »
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Offline Phillip Clark

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Ooops, the top picture of my posting above isn't the intended one!   If the technology works this time, the intended picture is below ......
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane - WJ.

Offline spaceamillion

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Hi Phil,

This video has a LOT of different configurations for the Chinese spacelabs of the future.

How accurate is it ? Depends on if you trust the video, but it is claimed to be from CNSA


Offline Phillip Clark

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Fascinating material - there were some representations which I had not seen before.   I had always thought that the representations of the larger modular space station was simply ISS reconstructions with Chinese flags added and Shenzhou replaceing the shuttle orbiter and Soyuz spacecraft!   Of course, it is believable that any space station modules will be cylindrical and thus like those developed by the Soviets/Russians and United States - one cylinder is much like another from the outside!

[Oh, I love that image of the Apollo lunar rover with the Chinese flag next to it!!!]

But I think that the station which I have depicted is the interim one to be used before the CZ-5 makes its debut.   Only then will we start to see something approaching Mir.   We shall see ......... I love speculating about something and the Chinese coming out with something to contradict it within days!!!
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane - WJ.

Offline Rusty_Barton

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Here's another graphic of a space laboratory that has something on the bottom that appears to be a docking port? airlock? Or maybe it's just earth orbservation sensors?

Here's a link to the webpage where I found the graphic

« Last Edit: 09/22/2008 10:22 PM by Rusty_Barton »

Offline astrowiki

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How accurate is it ? Depends on if you trust the video, but it is claimed to be from CNSA


Hi spaceamillion,

Don't think it is accurate or from official source. Some modules are too large to current LVs. Mostly I saw insignia of CAST, not CNSA, on Chinese vehicles.

Offline Phillip Clark

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Here are two more graphics of a Shenzhou docked with the small space lab.   In the first picture the object close to the interface between the large and small diameter modules looks to be more like a window or sensor port than a docking port.   The second picture is rather more science fiction than normal because it shows a Shenzhou (with solar panels on the orbital module!) docked at the back of the smaller diameter module where no other illustration shows a docking port: I think that someone has seen too many Salyut 6/7 pictures when generating that model!

I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane - WJ.

Offline spaceamillion

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Babelfish translation of a Xinhua article published today:

The beautiful intermediary said that the god eight god nine gods ten become the company the Chinese space station 
on September 23, 2008 10:27: 13 origins: Round the world Times 


According to the US "Outer space Daily paper" the website on 22nd reported that the other day some media reported said Shenzhou the seventh airship are China constructs space station's start, but the fact is not true. After the Shenzhou seven airships are only then hopeful launch China's space station construction work.

    "Outer space Daily paper" the website reported that the Chinese space station will construct first step will be launches one small “the spacelab”, this was Shenzhou eight. The god eight contours differ from with the Shenzhou series airship before this.

    This spacelab by two connects in the together cylinder composes, is slightly small, but also has two to the connection as well as a pair of solar cell board.

    After god eights, pilotless Shenzhou nine will launch the lift-off and with it docking. Finally, Shenzhou ten will embark 3 astronauts to lift off, and with god eight god nine docking. These three airships in the same place, have formed a small space station.

    The report said that entire outer space construction task will possibly start in 2010, but also has some reports saying that in 2009 will start.





Offline hal

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Phil

You idea certainly has merit and ties up a number of loose ends.

When I first saw the picture of the spacelab mockup, I asumed that the two sections were separated to allow access to the crew compartment, but in hindsight, this doesn't make a lot of sense.

I've always thought that the Orbital Module had a role as a Progress-type vehicle, providing orbital reboost and consumables resupply to the spacelab.  If not, then seems a lot of development effort to make a free-flying OM.  What for?

Only downside I see is that the spacelab graphics all seem to make the two sections look integrated and not docked, but this may just be artistic license to disguise the assembly idea.

if the idea is correct, does Shenzhou 10 leave its OM behind, with Shenzhou 9's OM being jettisoned?  So each sucessive manned Shenzhou visitor docking at alternate ports?

Offline Phillip Clark

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Rather than think in numbers, let's call the two components of the space lab Part A and Part B.   I see Part A being launched first and it is the main 3.35 metres diameter section.   From Chinese information, when not carrying the heavy escape system, the CZ-2F can orbit about 8.5 tonnes, so Part A could be quite heavy on its own.

I then see Part B being launched: this could be either the service/propulsion module on its own or it could be attached to a Shenzhou propulsion system - like the way a Progress propulsion system delivered ISS/Pirs to the ISS.   Again, the CZ-2F does not need an escape tower, abort stabilisers or associated rockets on the shroud, although the assembly will probably be encased in something like the payload shroud which we know and love.

When docked with Part A, the Shenzhou propulsion system separates and could then be de-orbited - or simply perform a phasing manoeuvre away from the space lab.   Then all is ready for Shenzhou 10 with its three crew members.

One possibility is that Part A could remain in orbit and new Part Bs launched as necessary, rather than developing in-orbit refuelling as the Russians have done with Progress.

I agree that the animations of the space lab do not show a clearly-defined "join" between my Part A and Part B modules - but the ground mock-up does raise the probability that they are separately-launched modules.

As for the Shenzhou orbital modules ........... ever since I saw the animations for docking missions and the EVA mission it  was clear that Shenzhou's orbital module would not be carrying solar panels or be capable or independent flight after separating from the returning spacecraft.   So why develop this technology and then throw it away?   A mystery which makes no sense to me.

Note - even the animation of a Shenzhou docking with a previously-discarded orbital module shows that the complete Shenzhou is not carrying solar panels on its orbital module, althought they are on the docking target.

A final thought.   If this scenario is right then China will be the third space nation to develop the ability to perform automatic dockings in orbit: the Russians, of course, were the first in 1967 and the Europe with the ATV docking unmanned with ISS earlier this year.   Japan and the US have done some automatic docking experiments but cheated by launching both craft on the same rocket and not separating them by more than a few metres!
I've always been crazy but it's kept me from going insane - WJ.

Offline eeergo

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Re: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011
« Reply #10 on: 09/23/2008 04:03 PM »
Japan and the US have done some automatic docking experiments but cheated by launching both craft on the same rocket and not separating them by more than a few metres!

Just a nitpick with this last statement: Orbital Express (I suppose those were the US craft you were referring to) did separate more than a few meters: in fact they separated several kilometers and under various light and background conditions. I think it's pretty clear US technology would currently allow automated dockings.

Great discussion nevertheless, it's great to read these ongoing analyses about Chinese missions :)
« Last Edit: 09/23/2008 04:04 PM by eeergo »
-DaviD-

Offline Phillip Clark

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Re: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011
« Reply #11 on: 09/23/2008 04:29 PM »
Just a nitpick with this last statement: Orbital Express (I suppose those were the US craft you were referring to) did separate more than a few meters: in fact they separated several kilometers and under various light and background conditions.

Maybe it's me, but I think that launching the two craft on the same rocket is a slight cheat!
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Offline eeergo

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Re: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011
« Reply #12 on: 09/23/2008 05:05 PM »
Maybe it's me, but I think that launching the two craft on the same rocket is a slight cheat!

Well, maybe it's not a "pure" rendezvous, but the proximity operations, based on the sats' relative positions and not on orbital maneuvering, is the critical path in automated docking. Launch, orbit insertion and orbital maneuvering risks are another part of the equation; what makes docking difficult is finding the target in space (once the orbit and phasing has been achieved, something any sat by definition has to do), getting close to it safely, rendezvous and dock keeping attitude control and stack integrity.

I would agree however, that Russia and, some distance behind, Europe, have demonstrated automated docking to greater extents. And they are the only ones to have demonstrated manrated automated docking.
-DaviD-

Offline hal

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Re: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011
« Reply #13 on: 09/26/2008 11:26 AM »
More stuff energing on this forum about the future plans.  To summarise:

"According to media report in Hong Kong
The Chinese Space Lab will be assembled in the timeframe 2010-2015
After Shenzhou 8,9(unmanned),10(manned) under the accelerated schedule"

"China will launch Tiangong-1, 2, 3 spacecraft between 2010 and 2015. TG-1 will be the docking target (probably a modified OM) and TG-2 and 3 will be the 8t class mini-station, or the Spacelab. There will be two unmanned vehicles (SZ-8 and 9) and 5 manned ships to visit these TGs during this period."

Wheras we seem to have been seeing Shenzhou 8 as the mini-spacestation, it now appears that there will be an unmanned docking test between S8 and S9, then a manned docking between S8 and S10.

After that the spacestation (Tiangong) build up begins.  If there are to be 5 manned ships "during this period" and 1 is S10, that would imply 1 visit per year to the spacestation. 

Offline Vacuum.Head

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Re: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011
« Reply #14 on: 09/28/2008 09:17 PM »
Is anyone aware of the proposed mating mechanism used in the Chinese Docking System?
From the graphics it seems to flip from the Russian Docking System [RDS] to the equally Russian: Androgynous Peripheral Attach System [APAS].
Will they be using KURS docking system? Have ESA passed on their laser optical upgrade?

To add my 0.02$ to the general level of supposition concerning Project 921
I would suggest that the Shenzhou Orbital Module "guidao cang" has, to date, had a multi-purpose test function.

Last mission (SZ6): Autonomous Station prototype?
This mission (SZ7):  Airlock module prototype??
Subsequent missions: could the OM be a parallel development of the ATV with both male and female RDS ports?
Thus each crewed mission has the possibility of adding another specialised mini-module to the Core station module!
FWIIW and pure speculation but a synthesis of Russian technology and Chinese ingenuity?
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Offline Jim

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Re: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011
« Reply #15 on: 09/28/2008 09:20 PM »
The descent module doesn't use a docking interface with the OM. 

Offline 8900

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Re: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011
« Reply #16 on: 09/29/2008 09:49 AM »

This one is much bigger than the Shenzhou spacecraft(which can be seen at the right side), this suggests it won't be SZ-8 or SZ-9
Besides CZ-2F has a limited capacity of ~8-9tonnes to LEO
It should be the "20 tonnes class spacelab" called "Tiangong-1"(palace in the sky, and the name comes from Chinese legend)
It will be launched after 2010 by the new LOx/Kerosene launcher (CZ-5) from Hainan WenChang new spaceport

Besides SZ-8/9/10 are technology demonstrator rather than formal spacelab
there is also plan to assemble Mir type permanently manned large space station before 2020
« Last Edit: 08/29/2011 05:23 AM by Ronsmytheiii »

Offline Chen Lan

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Re: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011
« Reply #17 on: 09/29/2008 12:28 PM »


This one is much bigger than the Shenzhou spacecraft(which can be seen at the right side), this suggests it won't be SZ-8 or SZ-9
Besides CZ-2F has a limited capacity of ~8-9tonnes to LEO
It should be the "20 tonnes class spacelab" called "Tiangong-1"(palace in the sky, and the name comes from Chinese legend)
It will be launched after 2010 by the new LOx/Kerosene launcher (CZ-5) from Hainan WenChang new spaceport

Besides SZ-8/9/10 are technology demonstrator rather than formal spacelab
there is also plan to assemble Mir type permanently manned large space station before 2020

TG-1 is not the 20t class station. It will simply be a docking target, or could be a prototype Spacelab, to be visited by Shenzhou 8,9,10 within 2 years. While TG-2 and 3, the working Spacelabs, are to be launched by 2015 and to be visited by 4 Shenzhous (probably 2 each). All TGs will be 8t class and will be launched by CZ-2F/G, an improved CZ-2F model. China will completed a long duration manned(if not permanently manned), modular space station by 2020. The bottom line is to launch the core module (20t class) by 2020.
« Last Edit: 08/29/2011 05:23 AM by Ronsmytheiii »

Offline Satori

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Re: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011
« Reply #18 on: 09/29/2008 12:50 PM »
So, we can have...

2010 - Launch TG-1 by CZ-2F/G; launch SZ-8 and SZ-9 by CZ-2F (?). SZ-8 and SZ-9 manned missions?

TG-1 to be used until 2015 (a visit by ZS-10) when...

2015 - Launch TG-2 by CZ-2F/G; launch SZ-11 and SZ-12

2018 - Launch TG-3

2020 - Launch of core module of 20t modular space station

Can we have a scenario like this?

Some sources say that the next manned chinese flight will be SZ-10 in 2010. So, before we will have the unmanned missions of SZ-8 and SZ-9 to dock in orbit. If SZ-10 is going to dock with the mini-lab SZ-8/SZ-9, I just don't understand the timetable of the TG-1 launch.
« Last Edit: 09/29/2008 12:59 PM by Satori »

Offline Chen Lan

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Re: LIVE: TianGong-1 JSLC CZ-2F (T1) launch September 29, 2011
« Reply #19 on: 09/29/2008 01:42 PM »
According to official report today, TG-1 will be launched at end of 2010 or 2011, followed by SZ-8, 9, 10 within 2 years. And according to the official Chinese Manned space Program site revealed earlier, TG-2 and 3, as well as another 4 manned ships will be launched by 2015. The announced TG-1 life is two years. So it is reasonable to assume TG-2 and 3 will have same lifespan. Then, let me have a prediction: TG-2 launched in 2012, followed by SZ-11 and 12 in 2012 and 2013; TG-3 launched in 2014, followed by SZ-13 and 14 in 2014 and 2015. Of course, actual launches will most likely have some delays.

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