China's Tianhe Project satellite to debut at Airshow China 2018China Is Launching A Weather-Control Machine The Size Of Alaska
MAY 10, 2018
A Chinese worker fires rockets for cloud seeding in an attempt to make rain in Huangpi, central China's Hubei province on May 10, 2011. The drought plaguing central China for months has left more than one million people without proper drinking water and crimped output of hydroelectric power, China's second-biggest energy source, as water levels at nearly 1,400 reservoirs in Hubei province have fallen below the operational level, according to government figures. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
China is launching the world's largest weather-control machine, with the ability to modify the weather in an area similar to the size of Alaska. China has never shied away from doing things on a massive scale and this is yet another example of the Chinese government working on an unprecedented scale.
China's state-owned Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is implementing a plan to send thousands of rain-inducing machines across the Tibetan Plateau to increase rainfall along the region.
The Tibetan Plateau is the source of much of China's water, running down from the mountainous highlands via the massive Yangtze, Mekong, and Yellow rivers. These rivers, which originate on the Tibetan Plateau, are fed by glacial and snow meltwater and drain down into the fertile Chinese farmlands.
The practice of artificially inducing rainfall in China is not new, the country manipulated the weather over Beijing just before and during the 2008 Beijing Olympics to ensure a rain-free event. The practice has only grown in scale as part of the Sky River Project aimed at increasing China's water resources for its billions of people.
China is installing tens of thousands of chambers across the Tibetan Plateau and mountains. These machines will produce very fine silver iodide particles that are then lifted into the atmosphere with upwelling winds. As these particles are dispersed into the atmosphere they act as the nucleating point of condensed water.
In order for water vapor (humidity) in the air to form clouds and eventually rain, it requires a nucleating particle. Typically, this is a tiny particle of dust which en masse produces the clouds we see in the sky. By artificially "seeding" the Tibetan Plateau with silver iodide particles the Chinese government is inducing the formation of clouds where there weren't any before. Once the clouds become unstable, this leads to artificially induced rainfall.
Each rain machine (chamber) is expected to create a 3-mile long strip of billowing clouds. When multiplied by the thousands of chambers China is installing along the Tibetan Plateau, it is estimated that China will be artificially controlling the weather over an area similar to the size of Alaska.
China plans to monitor the system through weather satellites and supplement with silver iodide particles deployed from planes and shot out of ground artillery. In total, the Chinese government expects the system, which will span 620,000 square miles, to produce up to 10 billion cubic meters of rainfall each year.
If the system works as expected, it would equal roughly 7 percent of China's annual water consumption, helping China quench the thirst of its 1.4 billion people.
China developing reusable space rocket
Source: Xinhua| 2018-04-30 16:37:16|Editor: Chengcheng
BEIJING, April 30 (Xinhua) -- China aims to recover the first stage of the Long March-8 carrier rocket, which is still under development and is expected to make its maiden flight around 2021, according to a Chinese rocket expert.
It was part of China's endeavors to develop reusable space vehicles, Long Lehao, chief designer of carrier rockets at the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, told a space conference in Harbin, capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.
The Long March-8 rocket will have two stages and two boosters: the first stage and boosters are expected to be retrieved through vertical landing, said Long, who is also an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
If successful, the new rocket would provide commercial launch services to customers around the globe, Long said.
"China's aerospace industry is making efforts to develop low-cost vehicles that can enter space rapidly to support future large-scale space exploration and promote a commercial space industry," Long said.
Bao Weimin, director of the Science and Technology Commission of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said China's reusable carrier vehicle will use technologies different from those of U.S. commercial space firm SpaceX.
"As the current Long March 2, 3, 4 series rockets are fueled by toxic propellants, they cannot be recycled. But we are developing technologies to precisely control the fall of the rocket remains to ensure safety," Long said.
That effort is important as residents in possible landing areas have to be evacuated at every launch. As China's aerospace activities become more frequent, with 36 launches planned this year, precise control of falling rocket remains could save a lot of trouble.
Long also introduced the development roadmap for China's space transportation system.
Around 2025, reusable suborbital carriers will be successfully developed and suborbital space travel will be realized. Around 2030, rockets with two reusable stages will be developed. Around 2035, carrier rockets will be completely reusable which could realize the dream of space travel for ordinary people.
A future generation of carrier rockets will be put into use around 2040 and hybrid-power reusable carriers will be developed. Space vehicles will be more diverse, intelligent, reliable, low-cost, efficient and convenient.
"Those targets are not easy to achieve, and lots of technological difficulties must be solved," Long said.
China developing new-generation manned rocket, spacecraftModel of the next generation rocket for manned spaceflight displayed at Zhuhai Airshow.
Hongyan satellite constellation to be operating by 2025
By Yin Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/18 22:28:40
Global coverage for mobile phones will be realized by 2025 when the broadband system for a 300-satellite Chinese constellation is completed, a scientist for the project announced Tuesday.
"A broadband system will enable seamless global intercommunication," Pang Zhihao, a retired rocket and aerospace expert who co-led the Hongyan project at the China Academy of Space Technology, told the Global Times on Tuesday.
Hongyan translates as "wild goose." In ancient China, geese were used to deliver messages.
Mobile phones will be able to connect "any time and place, and even in complex terrain," Hongyan project head Zhou Zhicheng said at a 2018 China Cybersecurity Week conference on Monday.
Construction of the constellation would combine low-orbit and high-orbit satellite technologies, according to Zhou.
The constellation consists of 300 low-orbit satellites and a global data processing center. Network security was one of top issues that would also be addressed by national authorities, Zhou said.
The constellation could also improve the accuracy of navigation provided by China's BeiDou satellite navigation system, according to an article released on Tuesday by China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation where the Hongyan constellation is produced.
Hongyan could provide communication support on Arctic expeditions and dredgers, the article said.
Once completed, the Hongyan network will replace the ground-based network and allow a mobile phone to be connected in a remote desert or at sea.
China launches Shiyan-6 and 4 micro satellites into orbitMicro-satellite ready for blastoff
By Yin Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/8 23:13:40
China's first "software defined" micro-satellite will be launched by the end of November, its development team leader told the Global Times on Monday.
Chen Hongyu's team at the Shanghai-based Chinese Academy of Sciences' Innovation Academy for micro-satellites has so far produced a total of at least eight micro- or nano-satellites for communication, navigation and scientific exploration.
The launch will take place "by the end of November this year," said Chen, the academy's director.
The industry buzzword "software defined" in this case relates to being able to use a private computer or even a smartphone to program the tiny satellite's functions.
A micro-satellite weighs less than 100 kilograms, and nano-satellites are under 10 kilograms, according to Science and Technology Daily.
"The function of a single micro- or nano-satellite is limited compared to a normal satellite or space station, while a network of such satellites can have advantages that outweigh the big satellites in certain aspects such as global coverage," Chen said.
More than 300 micro- and nano-satellites weighing less than 50 kilograms blasted off last year including 140 produced by India, Science and Technology Daily reported, referring to data from aerospace engineering firm SpaceWorks.
"Among all micro- and nano- satellites worldwide as of April 8, 2018, 58.7 percent were from the United States and 24.6 percent from European countries, while China occupied only 2.6 percent," Wu Shufan, professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University was quoted as saying by the official newspaper of the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Micro- and nano-satellites will grow to occupy more than 10 percent of all satellites in the next five years as the industry enters a "golden period for development," Wu said.
The academy successfully launched an SF-1 micro-satellite on September 29, according to a document sent by the academy to Global Times on Monday.
SF-1 is the first of a 120 communication and navigation micro-satellite constellation which would cover the Earth.
The comparatively low cost of micro-satellites makes them a feasible business for private Chinese companies.
Beijing-based company Commsat plans to launch seven 100 kilograms satellites by the end of 2018.
The company also plans to send four more in 2019 and another 72 in 2021, according to a document sent by Commsat to Global Times on Monday.
Small satellites also have drawbacks.
"Unlike big spacecraft, smaller satellites are quantity-driven, especially some mini- satellites, and can quickly run out of power and become space trash," Jiao Weixin, a space science professor at Peking University told the Global Times on Monday.
The research institutes and companies should "take the space environment into consideration while developing smaller satellites," Jiao said.