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Main » 2016 » July » 18 » Prototype for a new Chinese manned spacecraft landed.

Prototype for a new Chinese manned spacecraft landed.

On June 26, 2016 at 07:41 UTC the sub-scale re-entry capsule for China’s next-generation human-rated spacecraft landed in the Inner Mongolia region, one day after rocketing into orbit aboard the country’s new “Long March-7” launcher. The demonstrator craft spent nearly 20 hours in space. It is about half the size of a future spacecraft still on China’s drawing board to replace the Shenzhou spaceship currently used to ferry Chinese crews to orbit and back. Flying for the first time, the testbed capsule “was designed to collect aerodynamic and heat data for a re-entry capsule, to verify key technologies such as detachable thermal protection structure and lightweight metal materials manufacturing, and to carry out blackout telecommunication tests,” the China Manned Space Engineering Office said. While the Shenzhou spacecraft can accommodate three astronauts, the new spacecraft could carry larger crews. Chinese officials have not said when the new crew carrier could be ready to fly with astronauts.

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