xi's moments
Home | Innovation

Tianzhou 5 spacecraft burns up on Earth reentry

By ZHAO LEI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2023-09-12 11:34

This simulated image captured at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Nov 12, 2022 shows China's cargo spacecraft Tianzhou 5 having conducted a fast automated rendezvous and docking with the combination of the space station Tiangong. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's Tianzhou 5 cargo spacecraft was destroyed as scheduled on Tuesday morning as it reentered Earth's atmosphere, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The agency said in a news release that, under ground controllers' guidance, the robotic craft flew back into Earth's atmosphere at 9:13 am. After that, most of the spaceship burned up, and a small amount of debris fell into secure areas in the South Pacific Ocean.

The Tianzhou 5 departed from the Tiangong space station on Monday afternoon and then started the atmospheric reentry process guided by ground controllers.

The vessel launched on Nov 12 from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province, and docked with the Tiangong later that same day. It was tasked with refueling the space station and bringing astronauts' living and work necessities.

It was the fourth cargo ship to have linked with the Tiangong, which is now manned by three astronauts of the Shenzhou XVI mission.

On May 5, the vessel undocked from the Tiangong station and started a solo flight for experimental purposes that lasted 33 days. It reconnected with the space station in June.

In addition to resupply and refueling tasks, the cargo ship carried several cutting-edge experimental payloads to the space station, which have been working well, according to the agency.

It noted the space hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell system has been successfully demonstrated in orbit. The test results will be used for the research and development of new spacecraft fuel cells to be used in China's planned manned missions to the moon.

Another piece of advanced equipment, the broad-energy-spectrum, high-energy particle detector, has obtained a lot of scientific data in terms of charged particles, neutrons, and particle radiation effects, the agency added.

In late December, the Tianzhou 5 deployed the Macao Student Science Satellite 1, a 12-kilogram mini satellite, into orbit. The satellite has been used to help students in Macao learn about Earth imaging, radio communication and other spaceflight activities.

The Tiangong station is currently linked with the Tianzhou 6, which arrived on May 11.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349