China validates key technologies in large spacecraft recovery

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China has validated multiple key technologies in large spacecraft recovery, extending the recovery weight to more than seven tonnes, said the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) on Friday.

Chinese scientists have conducted tests of multiple key technologies in the manned space flight field, including the country's first airdrop tests of the large group parachute system and heavy landing buffer system, said CAST under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

The combination of the large group parachute system and heavy landing buffer system extends China's capacity of recovery weight from 3.5 tonnes, the weight of the Shenzhou spacecraft, to more than seven tonnes, according to CAST.

It means that China has mastered the spacecraft recovery capacity on par with those of the Orion spaceship and CST-100 spacecraft of the United States.

The group parachute system has two brake parachutes and three main parachutes, which can expand and close through multiple stages. Thus, the reduced loads will lower the demands of the spacecraft's structural strength.

The heavy landing buffer system has gained its reliability and stability thanks to the team's innovative key technologies such as high sensitivity sensors, said CAST.

The major tech breakthroughs in large spacecraft recovery pave the way for China's manned lunar-landing, carrier rocket recovery and airdrops of weight equipment. Moreover, it facilitates China's further steps in realizing the nondistructive recovery of 15-tonne-level spacecraft.

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