China ad­vances in pay­load fair­ing tech­nol­ogy: re­port

Global Times US Edition - - BIZUPDATE - By Chu Daye Page Edi­tor: shen­wei­[email protected]­al­times.com.cn

China suc­cess­fully com­pleted re­search on the world’s largest sep­a­ra­tion airbag used by rock­ets, the Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Daily re­ported on Wednesday.

A Chi­nese space ex­pert told the Global Times that the break­through will cre­ate a link that con­sti­tute China’s next-gen­er­a­tion heavy-lift rocket.

A re­search in­sti­tute un­der the state-owned China Aero­space Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy Corp re­cently suc­cess­fully tested the airbag, which is the world’s long­est, thick­est and more re­sis­tant to high pres­sure. It will per­form a key role in the pay­load fair­ing process dur­ing space­flight.

The new airbag is six times the length of the cur­rent airbag and three times as thick, the re­port said. It can re­sist four times as much pres­sure as the cur­rent model.

The new part is de­signed to work with fu­tur­is­tic heavy-lift rock­ets, which have a big­ger, heav­ier nose cone and are larger over­all. This re­quires the airbag to be large enough to match the size of the rock­ets and sturdy enough to with­stand the weight of the cones and the im­pact of the ex­plo­sives that do the sep­a­ra­tion.

Huang Zhicheng, an ex­pert on space tech­nol­ogy, told the Global Times that the new tech­nol­ogy is meant for the Long March-9, China’s most pow­er­ful rocket be­ing de­vel­oped now. “This is an im­por­tant link among the var­i­ous tech­no­log­i­cal thresh­olds needed for such a heavy rocket.”

China’s heavy-lift car­rier rocket, the Long March-9, is ex­pected to make its maiden flight around 2030 and will sup­port manned lu­nar ex­plo­ration, deep space ex­plo­ration and con­struc­tion of a space-based so­lar power plant. The di­am­e­ter of the body of the Long March-9 rocket will be nearly 10 me­ters, me­dia re­ports said.

Re­searchers made a break­through in method­ol­ogy to en­sure the sta­bil­ity of the airbag tex­tile and in the selec­tion tech­nique of the ma­te­rial.

The suc­cess­ful re­search and devel­op­ment of the airbag will pro­vide tech­no­log­i­cal safe­guards in the fair­ing process of Chi­nese heavy-haul car­rier rock­ets.

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