China strengthens space station


My armor

Two astronauts ventured outside China’s Tiangong space station last week to protect it from space debris hurled into the atmosphere by an exploding Russian satellite.

“The spacewalk was mainly focused on installing protective devices on external cables and pipelines to reduce the risks of possible collision with space debris and improve the long-term safety and stability of the space station,” engineer Liu Ming of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation told the state news network CCTV surveillanceas quoted by the South China Morning Post.

The news comes after a retired Earth-observing satellite called Resurs-P1 broke up in orbit late last month, forcing astronauts aboard the International Space Station to take shelter in their respective spacecraft. The satellite broke into more than 100 pieces that are now being tracked by the US Space Command.

Instead of staying home, the crew of China’s Tiangong space station was tasked with bolstering physical defenses. This mission highlights the significant risks that small pieces of space debris can pose to astronauts orbiting Earth.

+1 Shield

Astronaut Li Cong was placed in place with the help of a robotic arm, while crewmate Ye Guangfu provided him with the necessary equipment. A third astronaut, Li Guangu, monitored the mission from the station’s central Tianhe module.

The spacewalk lasted 6.5 hours and was largely uneventful. According to the SCMPThe two spacewalkers even joked around, competed to reach a certain spot and posed for the camera.

“Every time the robotic arm sent me to high points, despite the bright sunlight, I couldn’t help but take a closer look,” Li Cong said. CCTV surveillance“It is truly moving to see the grandeur of this project.”

The three astronauts have been stationed at the orbital lab since April 26 and have already installed several protective devices on the station’s Mengtian lab module during a spacewalk on May 28. The latest mission included adding other protective devices to the station’s Wentian lab and Tianhe core module.

The ISS features ballistic panels to protect it from micrometeoroids and space debris.

As illustrated in the 2013 science fiction film “Gravity,” space debris can have disastrous consequences if it ever collides with a spacecraft in orbit, from tiny impacts the size of a micrometer to mission-critical holes larger than a centimeter, according to the European Space AgencyA collision with a ten-centimeter object would “likely result in catastrophic disintegration of the target.”

And the orbit of our planet is only becoming more and more messy As time goes on, space agencies will have to become more creative to ensure the survival of their crews.

More about space debris: Astronauts sheltered in escape vehicles as debris threatened the space station

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top