China launches first microgravity satellite
China successfully launched its first microgravity satellite, the SJ-10, at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province on Wednesday at 1:38 am.
Designed in the shape of a bullet, the SJ-10 carries 19 experimental loads for 28 scientific research projects in microgravity, a very low gravity that mimics weightlessness, including research into fluid physics, fire safety on manned space flights, coal combustion and materials processing.
Microgravity experiments have previously been carried out on space facilities, including space stations, space shuttles and research rockets.
The SJ-10 will stay in the orbit for a few days and an orbital module will stay in orbit another few days for additional experiments.
“The recoverable satellite is a useful and efficient tool for microgravity experiments, compared to space stations and research rockets,” said Hu Wenrui, chief scientist of SJ-10.