As China moves forward in its plans to advance space exploration and carry out long-duration manned missions, the country is working on designing a spacecraft that can reach 1 km in length. This spacecraft will have a great capacity to store resources, so that it can remain in orbit for a long time and thus, can contribute to space exploration. The idea has been around for a few years, and now China’s National Natural Science Foundation is looking for scientists to figure out how to get such a massive structure into orbit.
The giant spacecraft was proposed by China’s National Natural Science Foundation, a research agency managed by the Ministry of Science and Technology, during the issuance of guidelines for the first group of large projects supported during the 14th Five-Year Plan. The group has projects in various sectors that will receive US$2.3 million for their development; All are extremely important, but this massive spatial structure attracted the interest of the public.
The project guide describes that the giant spacecraft would have to be built using a modular structural design, with multiple launches and construction carried out directly into space, as it would be heavy and too large to be launched at once. “[Uma nave assim] It’s a great tool strategy for future uses of space resources, discovering the secrets of the universe, and longer stays in orbit.” Now, the agency is looking for scientists to study the mechanics of the venture for five years. of project.
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For now, the project is still a “pre-research”, that is, it is in a phase that involves many calculations and may take a long time to get off the ground. Nevertheless, some features may already be upgraded: the supership would require a lighter structure, which as much as possible reduces the number of launches to build and the costs involved. In addition, the structure must have a controllable design, which allows deformation and vibration control.
According to the requirements, the project will cost about 15 million yuan, and will have scientific objectives such as to propose a new theory for lighter structures, able to meet the dynamics in class requirements, establish a new model from coupling dynamics to assembly Doing process, development of the assembly process of large aerospace structures, among others.
For now, it’s an ambitious project, one as large as the size of the proposed spacecraft, which doesn’t mean it’s impossible to accomplish – after all, International Space Station, which measures about 110 meters, shows that larger structures can indeed be installed in orbit. The orbital laboratory was built in partnership with 16 countries, and required 42 assembly flights; According to NASA, most of them were made by spacecraft.
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