China’s Tianzhou 5 Cargo Spacecraft Breaks World Record

China Tianzhou 5

The Digital Yuan is the main focus here at Digital Yuan Now as the name suggests. However, fascinating strides are being made in the world of space and technology which may have great influence over not only the Chinese economy, but can also positively impact the world.

On the 12th of November 2022, Chinese taikonauts witnessed the arrival of a cargo spacecraft to the Tiangong Space Station for the very first time. This is a landmark event made by a country in regards to its space program. The Tianshou 5 cargo craft completed a fully automated rendezvous and docking with the Chinese Space Station in just about 2 hours, breaking the Soyuz MS-17 record of 3 Hours and 3 minutes from October 14, 2020.

The Soyuz MS17 Expedition-64 crew has witnessed the arrival and departure of several visiting vehicles including SpaceX’s Crew Dragon mission, the first operational mission that allowed the Crew-1 astronauts to join the Expedition 64 crew. The Soyuz MS-17 is the 63rd vehicle in the Soyuz series.

How Has The Tianzhou Series Developed Over The Years?

The Tianzhou series has been seeing rapid development in its capacity and performance within just a few years.

Within 5 years the Tianzhou series has been able to reduce launching to docking period significantly. In 2017, it took Tianzhou 2 around 2 days to dock with the Tianhe Space Station Core. 

By May 2021, this time was reduced to 8 hours.

The new supplies delivered to the taikonauts are expected to last longer than previous cargoes as well

The Tianzhou-5 Mission

The Long March Y6 rocket which carried Tianzhou 5 took off at 10:03 AM (Beijing Time) on the 12th of November from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch site located in the Island Province of Hainan.

The next day, November 13th, the hatch door of the Tianzhou 5 was opened at 2:18 PM.
The China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) reported that the Shenzhou 14 crew entered Tianzhou 5 cargo craft at 3:03 PM after preparations. The crew proceeded to complete cargo transfers and other planned tasks thereafter.

While the record breaking launch to docking time achieved by the Tianzhou 5 cargo spacecraft is evidence of unrivaled advancement in Chinese technology, its speed guarantees more economy of raw materials used. This version of the Tianzhou series uses less resources than its predecessors.

Ultimately , it can assure the quick completion of the Chinese Space Station (Tiangong), and increase supply capacity to the space station crew.
The Tiangong Space Station is expected to be completed within 2022.

What To Expect In The Future

The cargo spacecraft system is an integral part of the Chinese Space Station. With the completion of the T-shape configuration on the Tiangong Space Station complete, the cargo ships continue their operations supporting taikonauts with scientific experiments and operating the space station

Testing and launching of the Long March 7 carrier craft has been optimized and streamlined to a thorough extent. This is what allowed the Tianzhou 5 craft to complete launching and docking in record time.

The Chief Engineer of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center stated that the time taken from testing to takeoff for the Long March 7 has reduced by 15 days since its first launch. More efficiency of raw material use and decreases in launch times are believed to be a possibility with the next launches of the Tianzhou series.

Bai Minzhen of the China Academy of Space and Chief Designer of the Tianzhou cargo craft said that the next scheduled cargo ship, the Tianzhou 6, will undergo essential system upgrades. Increases in the transport capacity of the carrier as a result of a larger cargo cabin are to be expected.

The progress made in space science experiments of new materials, agriculture, energy, and other areas have a direct impact on the economy and the overall technological developments of a country.

China’s ongoing efforts in space technology wll positively affect China’s own economy and her trading markets.