China has plans for space. The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), a Chinese federal science agency, has unveiled a new plan for the next five-year space. In this document sent to the government, the NSFC evokes the “urgent need” to develop “mega-projects in space”, reports Digital Century.
It would be to send humans into space and also build new spaceships. The NSFC thus proposes to manufacture hyper-large spacecraft that can cover several kilometers and which would carry solar power plants. For this, the NSFC recommends the creation of lightweight components. These can be launched separately and then assembled once in orbit.
“Promoting long-term housing in orbit”
Indeed, it will not be possible to fully launch a spacecraft several kilometers wide with current launch technologies. But according to Chinese scientists, its assembly in space is possible. A view shared by researchers at the Shenyang Automation Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, who recently published an article on this topic in the Chinese Journal of Aeronautics.
“Space assembly technologies can effectively adapt to the assembly of large space structures, improve the performance of spacecraft and reduce operating costs to create fixed structures such as space infrastructure, gas stations, manufacturing facilities in space, space tourism complexes and asteroid mining stations, ”they wrote.
In addition, it has been a few years since China has been developing a space station intended to accommodate humans. Several individual modules will be linked in low earth orbit initially. Then, this space station is maybe one day transform into a spaceship several kilometers wide. In its report, the NSFC indicates that it is necessary to “promote long-term housing in orbit”.