Are you a space nerd? Do you dream of someday stepping foot on another planet? If so, then you may be interested in hearing about a new effort being led by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. The goal of the proposed mission is to assemble in space a spacecraft that is miles long. If the project becomes a reality, it will represent a significant technological feat for China and one that scientists believe may someday be accomplishable.
The fundamental challenge for a space mission is the creation of a large-scale structure, which can accommodate all the necessary systems and equipment. To achieve this goal, an agency under the influence of the Ministry of Science and Technology is investigating a set of innovative methods to assemble a spacecraft.
Because the spacecraft would be a massive one, it would be impossible to launch it in one piece, and it will have to be divided into multiple parts. In order to get all the spaceship modules in space, multiple launches would be needed. However, researchers also need to find a way to keep the number of launches to a minimum. They also have to ensure that all modules can be coordinated properly so that the assembly process will function as planned. The budget also represents a factor that needs to be taken into account by the research team.
China’s space projects
This project is part of a group of ten proposed ideas. Out of those, five projects will be funded, having a maximum budget of 15 million yuan, the equivalent of $2.3 million. China appears determined to conquer space, and this series of projects comes after its successful May mission when a rover landed on Mars. More than that, back in April, China began to build its Tiangong space station. The station is assembled out of multiple modules, and the construction should be finished in 2022, reaching a mass of 100 metric tons.