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Default China Successfully Launches New Generation Crew Spacecraft Atop CZ-5B 5/5/20 1000 UTC
by Nicholas Kang 05-05-2020, 01:35 PM

Haven't heard some Chinese launches for quite some time. Here's one today. An important one.

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN0y8nRUPuw"]Long March-5B launches China’s new-generation crewed spacecraft - YouTube[/ame]

China has launched a new generation crew space capsule at around 10:00 UTC on May 5, 2020, using the first Long March-5B rocket. The launch took place from the LC101 Launch Complex of the Wenchang Spaceflight Launch Center, in Hainan.

Landing is expected between 05:02 and 05:42 UTC on May 6, in an area east of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hILzB9D8CyM"]Long March-5B launch - YouTube[/ame]

Full webcast (In Chinese, let me know if you need translation ):

[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjG2pqTxK_4"][直剪辑]长征五号乙遥一火发射 [Live cut]LongMarch-5B Y1 Mission - YouTube[/ame]

About the New Generation Space Capsule:

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The new capsule will go to an 8,000 km high orbit before coming to a high-speed re-entry.

The new vehicle will be used in both low-Earth orbit missions and deep-space exploration flights. Capable of transporting six crew members (or 500 kg of cargo with a crew of three), the new capsule as a total length of 8.8 meters, a 5-meter diameter, and a launch weight of 21,600 kg.

The new vehicle, composed of a service module and a return capsule, was designed to be reused ten times.

The service module is discarded before re-entry. It contains liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen for fuel cell operation and water production (as well as to provide breathing oxygen for the crew), fuel cells, solar panels and batteries to provide electrical power to the spacecraft, guidance computer systems and sensors, fuel and oxidizer for reaction control and propulsion systems and thermal control systems for proper heating and cooling.

The return capsule is the reusable part of the Chinese new generation crew space capsule. It provides a pressurized habitat for the crew, also providing storage for consumables and research instruments. Depending on the mission it can be adapted with a docking port for crew transfers.
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The development team used new materials and a new structure to make the heat shielding capacity three to four times greater than that of the Shenzhou spacecraft.

The new vehicle has two versions. A LEO version (with a launch mass of around 14,000 kg) and a Beyond-LEO version (21,600 kg). The main difference between both vehicles is in the service module.
Source: Nasaspaceflight.com, Spacenews.com

N.B. China will proceed with its second Mars mission later this year. Its Mars orbiter will join NASA's Perseverance rover and UAE's Mars orbiter (Yes, UAE has a space agency and it's an orbiter heading to Mars too.) to launch during the upcoming June-July Mars launch window. Wish them luck and stay tuned for more launch threads to come!
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Old 05-05-2020, 07:19 PM   #2

Nice Booster! And even without solids it rumbles a lot

---------- Post added at 21:19 ---------- Previous post was at 20:18 ----------

Nice overview by Scott Manley
kuddel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2020, 09:03 PM   #3
Beta Tester


A Chinese Cargo Dragon.

Last edited by Donamy; 05-05-2020 at 09:08 PM.
Donamy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2020, 09:53 AM   #4
Nicholas Kang
Spaceflight News Reporter
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Unfortunately, the flexible inflatable cargo return module experienced an anomaly during the return trip to Earth.

Experts are analyzing the data.

The crew capsule is otherwise in good shape!

Source: Nasaspaceflight.com, China Manned Spaceflight (media statement in Chinese)
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