September 26, 2023

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Tech Testing Successful on China’s Shenzhou XIII Space Mission

A crewed Shenzhou XIII space mission became China’s longest manned space flight ever undertaken by the country. It showcased how tech is vital and effective in and from space. Being able to communicate to people on Earth from afar certainly pointed out the power of modern communications technology. It also opened the door for greater conquest of the skies above and more space missions ahead.

According to a senior space official, the Shenzhou XIII mission has concluded the technology demonstration phase in the construction of China’s Tiangong space station. Hao Chun, Head of the China Manned Space Agency, disclosed that the technology phase, which included the deployment of Tiangong’s core module and two manned spaceflights, has laid a solid foundation for the in-orbit assembly of Tiangong in the coming months.

During the technology demonstration phase, we verified key technologies needed in the construction and operation of a space station, like regenerative life-support and robotic arm-enabled repositioning technologies. We have also carried out a number of scientific experiments and technological tests that resulted in world-class achievements.

– Hao Chun, Head, China Manned Space Agency

This achievement should help improve space flight prospects ahead. The Shenzhou XII and XIII missions, both of which were crewed flights, enabled mission controllers to improve their planning and management systems and upgrade ground facilities, according to Hao.

Vitally, the crew were able to communicate with people on Earth while on their space mission. The team members conducted two science lectures for Chinese students. In those lectures live-streamed worldwide by government media China Media Group, the astronauts showed viewers how they live and work inside the gigantic space station and demonstrated phenomena only possible in microgravity, including “disappearing buoyancy” and a “water ball”. The crew even recorded a video in which they answered questions solicited from students across the United States who were curious about their lives and tasks onboard.

It’s China’s most ambitious crewed space flight yet. After being in orbit for six months, the three crew members of the Shenzhou XIII mission departed Tiangongand returned to Earth, completing the nation’s longest manned spaceflight. Major General Zhai Zhigang, Senior Colonel Wang Yaping and Senior Colonel Ye Guangfu breathed fresh air for the first time after their half-year space journey when ground recovery personnel opened the hatch of their reentry capsule at 10:03 am.

Zhai and his crewmates spent 183 days in an orbit about 400 kilometres above the earth after their Shenzhou XIII spacecraft was launched on Oct 16 by a Long March 2F carrier rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia. The crew set a record for China’s longest spaceflight, almost doubling the previous record of 92 days created by their peers in the Shenzhou XII mission who were onboard Tiangong from mid-June to mid-September last year.

China is definitely pushing the envelope when it comes to ICT and digital technology. Today, its e-commerce industry is enjoying greater success in deliveries with the use of driverless vehicles. It recently also started moving its digital assets westward in its East-to-West computing spread.


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