20 September 2021
The 3 topics of this week's reporting by Blaine Curcio and Jean Deville are the return of the Shenzhou 12 crew including its orbital manoeuvres before re-entry, an overview on the activities by commercial space companies like Space Transportation and Orienspace and updates on China's Mars UAV.
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20 September 2021
China launched on 20 September the Tianzhou 3 cargo space craft to deliver supplies to the Tianhe space module. The CZ-7 Y4 rocket, took off from the Wenchang Space Launch Site on Hainan Island around 15:00 BJT. Tianzhou 3 will dock with the combination of the space station core module Tianhe and Tianzhou 2 cargo craft later.
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16 September 2021
An enhanced version of BeiDou short message service was showcased at the 1st International Summit on Beidou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) Applications held in Changsha, central China's Hunan Province on 16 September. The new technology enables two-way communication on mobile phones in areas not covered by ordinary mobile communication signals or when base stations are damaged, which proves useful during earthquake relief, offshore fishing and emergency communication.
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14 September 2021
Despite the impressive growth of the space sector in many Chinese space cities, the most impressive space cluster, by far, remains the Northern Capital of Beijing.
Beijing is the beating heart of China’s space industry. The core of the city’s space industry is China’s two largest state-owned space companies, namely CASC, and CASIC. In addition to CASC and CASIC, most commercial space companies have either their headquarters, or at a minimum a major office presence in Beijing.
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18 September 2021
The cargo craft Tianzhou 2, currently docked to the Tianhe core module, separated from Tianhe's rear docking port on 18 September at 10:25 BJT. TZ-2 then moved to the front docking port and completed an autonoumous rendezvous and docking. The whole process lasted about 4 hours. The Tianhe-TZ-2 orbital infrastruture is in good condition, waiting for docking with the Tianzhou 3 cargo craft and the Shenzhou 13 manned spaceship.
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18 September 2021
The successful completion of the Shenzhou 12 mission on 17 September means the Dongfeng Landing Site is likely to be prioritised over the Siziwang Banner Landing Site to receive returning Chinese astronauts in the future. The return of the Shenzhou 12 crew was the first time Chinese astronauts landed at Dongfeng as all of the nation's previous spaceflights ended at Siziwang. Both are in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region and the distance between them is about 900 km.
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