2021-05-31

Global inventory of cargo spacecraft: Where is the Tianzhou-2?

By yqqlm yqqlm

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Cargo spacecraft It is a one-time-use spacecraft that specializes in transporting cargo to space. Its main task is to regularly supply food, cargo, fuel, instruments and equipment to the space station. It is an important means of transportation for supplies to the International Space Station, and it is also a ground logistics support system for the space station. At present, in addition to China’s courier “Tianzhou” cargo spacecraft, the world’s cargo spacecraft currently in service include Russia’s “Progress” cargo spacecraft, the US SpaceX’s “Dragon” spacecraft, and the US Orbital Technology Company’s “Cygnus”. spaceship. The previously retired cargo spacecraft include the European automatic cargo spacecraft (ATV) and the Japanese HTV cargo spacecraft.

Global inventory of cargo spacecraft: Where is the Tianzhou-2?

8970 kquziii7275999 - Global inventory of cargo spacecraft: Where is the Tianzhou-2?

Tianzhou II adopts a two-cabin model, cargo hold + propulsion The cabin has a total length of 10.6 meters, a circular cabin with a maximum diameter of 3.35 meters, and a maximum width of 14.9 meters after the solar array is deployed.

The Tianzhou-2 is different from the previous Tianzhou-1. Tianzhou No. 1 uses a semi-enclosed cargo hold, and Tianzhou No. 2 uses a fully enclosed cargo hold.

Global inventory of cargo spacecraft: Where is the Tianzhou-2?(1)

Sky Zhou series The spacecraft is designed with three types of cargo compartments: fully sealed cargo compartment, semi-sealed cargo compartment, and fully open cargo compartment. Fully-sealed cargo spacecraft is mainly used to transport astronauts consumables and equipment loads that need to be pressurized; semi-sealed cargo spacecraft can transport cargo outside the cabin, including sun wing, etc., in addition to the cargo in the sealed cabin; the fully open cargo spacecraft mainly It is used for the transportation of large outboard cargo. This means that, according to mission needs, the Tianzhou spacecraft will have semi-open and fully open cargo compartments in the future.

Compared to Tianzhou-1, Tianzhou-2 has increased take-off weight and load capacity. With a take-off weight of 13.6 tons (Tianzhou-1 is less than 13 tons) and a payload capacity of 6.6 tons (Tianzhou-1 is 6 tons), it has become the world’s largest cargo spacecraft in active service. It also achieves the maximum loading capacity with the smallest structural weight, with a cargo-to-cargo ratio of 0.50+, which is also the world’s highest cargo spacecraft.

Global inventory of cargo spacecraft: Where is the Tianzhou-2?(2)

First release time: 1978

R&D department: Soviet Energy Rocket Aerospace Group

Russia’s “Progress” cargo spacecraft is the first and oldest cargo spacecraft model in mankind. “No.” manned spacecraft was converted from. With the increasing demand for the supply of the Soviet space station, in order to transport more supplies, space experts removed the seats on the “Soyuz” spacecraft, environmental control and life support, return landing and emergency response systems related to manned personnel. , In order to transport more goods.

The first spacecraft “Progress” 1 was successfully launched on January 20, 1978. Since then, Progress has undergone many improvements, and improved models such as Progress M, Progress M1, and M2 have been born. Progress M The series of cargo spacecraft is equipped with an advanced digital control system that runs faster, and is lighter than the previously launched cargo spacecraft, and the docking with the space station is more accurate. The latest “Progress MS” series spacecraft have strong protection against space junk and micrometeoroids.

Global inventory of cargo spacecraft: Where is the Tianzhou-2?(3)

First release time: 2008

R&D department: European Space Agency

The main body of the “Automatic Transport Vehicle” (ATV) is a cylinder, 10.3m in length, 4.5m in diameter, and “X” shaped solar cells The wings have a wingspan of 22.3m and are covered with aluminum foil and micrometeoroid shields. The “automatic transfer aircraft” is structurally divided into two compartments, an integrated cargo compartment and a service compartment, and adopts a modular design. Different compartments and modules can be integrated and tested in parallel. At the same time, it can be compatible with different compartments and modules. Module.

04 HTV “Stork” cargo spacecraft

Global inventory of cargo spacecraft: Where is the Tianzhou-2?(4)

First release date: 2009

R&D department: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Japan HTV is the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency ( JAXA) is a cargo aircraft manufactured by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, developed specifically for the International Space Station (ISS) program. Japan’s HTV cargo spacecraft are named “Stork”, and “Stork” is a bird of happiness in Japanese legend. The HTV cargo spacecraft has a maximum diameter of 4.4 meters, a total length of about 10 meters, and can transport 5.7 tons of cargo and fuel. The biggest feature of this kind of spacecraft is that it can transport larger equipment. Because of its large hatch, the interface with the space station is widened to about 1.2 meters on each side, so it can transport large devices, such as equipment racks the size of bookshelves inside the space station, and large instruments and equipment outside the station. HTV will not automatically dock with the space station. Instead, it will fly to the vicinity of the space station and be captured by the space station’s robotic arm and docked at the docking port of the node module of the International Space Station.

Global inventory of cargo spacecraft: Where is the Tianzhou-2?(5)

05 “Dragon “Series cargo spacecraft

Global inventory of cargo spacecraft: Where is the Tianzhou-2?(6)

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p >First release date: 2010

R&D department: Space Exploration Company (SpaceX)

The Long spacecraft was developed by Spacex, a US space exploration company, and is mainly used to complete the International Space Station signed with NASA Replenishment mission contract. The pressurized cabin of the spacecraft is equipped with a heat shield. The material of the heat shield is a phenol-carbon thermal ablation board. The reliable ablation material is thermally decomposed and oxidized and burned to take away heat. This is the only feasible heat protection under high heat flow conditions. The method is necessary for the extremely high-speed reentry spacecraft. Therefore, the Dragon spacecraft can withstand extremely high temperature and safely land when returning, and realize the recovery and reuse. This also makes the Dragon spacecraft the only cargo spacecraft that can transport items back. The “Dragon” spacecraft is 5.9 meters long, has a maximum diameter of 3.6 meters, and has a dead weight of 4.2 tons. The maximum mass of its transport load is 6 tons, and the maximum mass of return load is 3 tons. It adopts the recovery method of parachute splashing on water.

06 “Cygnus” spacecraft

Global inventory of cargo spacecraft: Where is the Tianzhou-2?(7)

Comparison table between Tianzhou-2 and other cargo ships in the world