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Paper: Design and Application Prospects of China’s Tiangong Space Station (2023)


Here are the key points from the paper:


  • Built as part of 's three-step manned space program, with the goal of having an independently operated .
  • Adopts a modular design consisting of the Tianhe core module and two experiment modules, Wentian and Mengtian.
  • Key technologies include space robotic arms, regenerative life support systems, and large flexible solar arrays.
  • Focused on being cost-effective and efficient, with a moderate size of around 69 tons compared to other stations.
  • High degree of system integration between modules, spaceships, and ground.

Application Prospects

  • Will serve as China's national space lab for scientific experiments and international cooperation.
  • Provides standardized payload interfaces for international partners.
  • Can serve as testbed for new space technologies.
  • Open to expanded cooperation, including docking of partner modules and joint development projects.
  • Will support co-orbital like the Xuntian space telescope.
  • Has ability for on-orbit upgrades of and expanded construction over 10+ year lifetime.

In summary, China's Tiangong space station demonstrates the country's advances in manned and ability to independently develop an integrated orbital facility focused on effective application and international collaboration.



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