|Tianzhou frieght spacecraft connecting with space station|
Global Times says in its report September 2, that initial sample of its Tianzhou transport space craft has passed evaluation. A Chinese space expert told Global Times reporter that the electronically controlled unmanned freight spacecraft as a whole is advanced in the world.
Freight spacecraft is indispensable for space program as it sends supplies to and brink back scraps from a space station. Tianzhou, however, can conduct the additional task of pushing a space station to a higher orbit with its own fuel. As the height of the orbit of a space station dropped by 1.5 km a year if the orbit is low, Tianzhou will play an important role in maintenance of the orbit of a space station. However, this function is not so important as usually the orbit of a space station is not very low.
However, if the freight spacecraft is a supply ship for a space-air bomber flying at low orbit, the function is indispensable for the bomber to remain in low orbit for a long time.
Tianzhou is a new generation of reusable freight spacecraft that can carry a load of 6 tons, heavier than its Russian and Japanese counterparts.
According to Russian speculation, China plans to develop a strategic bomber that may remain flying for months. Russian expert believes that the bomber has to be nuclear powered. However, if the bomber was sent by a rocket into a low orbit, it can remain in orbit form months. Tianzhou is a perfect freight spacecraft for such strategic space-air bomber. It can provide supplies, weapons, etc. replace crew, and maintain the orbit for such strategic space-air bombers.
On the other hand, China has surpassed the US in its development of hypersonic glide vehicle (HGV). It has successfully tested an HGV with a speed of Mach 10 while the US has only achieved a speed of Mach 5. China and the US both conducted tests of their HGVs recently and failed, but their great efforts in developing such weapons are obvious.
When China has succeeded in developing its Tianzhou freight space craft and HGV weapons, it will have integrated space and air capabilities for attack and defense. Normally, it takes 10 years to master a new technology since the success of the first test. If so, China’s space-air bomber will make US aircraft carrier obsolete in 10 years.
Source: Global Times “China’s Tianzhou spacecraft world advanced in connecting with Tiangong space station and can carry load heavier than its Japanese, Russian counterparts” (summary by Chan Kai Yee)
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