China plans to build miles of “megastructure” in orbit, including solar power plants, tourist estates, gas stations, and even asteroid mining facilities
China Is Trying To Build A Huge Mile-Wide “Megastructure” In Space: The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) has announced a new five-year plan to direct researchers to technology and technology development.
The structure requires lightweight materials so that larger objects can orbit with existing rockets. Researchers also need to adopt technologies that enable in-orbit assembly and control.
The Chinese government said there was an “urgent need” for megaprojects in space and would need a super-sized spacecraft to keep them in orbit.
The first project of this type is a high-earth orbit solar power plant, about a mile wide, that will “beam” power back to Chinese base stations by 2035 and supply it to the grid. 2050.
Other projects could include a new giant orbital platform covering miles of space, dwarfing the International Space Station, which is only 350 feet in diameter.
China plans to build miles of “megastructure” in orbit, including solar power plants, tourist estates, gas stations, and even asteroid mining facilities.
China plans to build a mile-wide “megastructure” in orbit, including solar power plants, tourist estates, gas stations, and even asteroid mining facilities. It may also include space stations such as the International Space Station, which was built over decades from new modules.
China dispatched its first crew to the Tiangong Space Station earlier this year.Modular platform built on Earth and sent to space with new additions over the next few years
Chinese space project under development
Space solar power
The Chinese government has recently opened a research facility to study space solar power.
They plan to build a mile-wide solar power plant and use microwaves to send signals back to Earth.
They have a megawatt facility in orbit and hope to be operational by 2050.
Space-based 32-foot telescope
Various departments of the Chinese government are working on a new “orbital” telescope project.
It will have a huge 32-foot opening that is more than twice the size of the NASA James Webb Space Telescope.
Tiangong Space Station
China launched the first module of the Tiangong Space Station earlier this year and plans to expand it in the future.
It’s similar, but much smaller than the ISS, with new modules being added over time.
These giant structures could include space stations such as the ISS. The ISS was built with orbital components and the latest modules were added earlier this year.
China already has its own space station that travels over the planet named Tiangong. It was occupied first this year.
Even new research modules and telescopes are planned to gradually increase in size over the next few years.
It is unclear whether this will be the foundation of a broader business foundation or whether new facilities will be launched in the future.
NSFC has not disclosed specific details about the megastructure.
Some, such as space-based power plants and the giant 32-foot aperture telescope, are already in the works, but new details are about research direction.
It was provided in the form of a published document that provided guidelines for researchers on how to access funds.
It directs researchers to focus on enabling these large-scale projects.
Specifically, we command them to focus on the development of “major strategic aerospace equipment for the future use of space resources.”
We also want experts to focus on “the exploration of the mysteries of the universe and long-term residence in orbit.”
The new project is not designed to actually put these structures into orbit, but is spending the next five years trying to minimize the weight of the spacecraft and materials.
Building something like a mining facility around an asteroid requires multiple rocket launches.
However, finding new, lightweight and durable materials can reduce the number of trips and make them more cost effective.
A 2020 study published by the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that space-based structures are essential to drive space-based technology.
“Due to the rapid development of space technology and the growing demand for space missions, traditional spacecraft manufacturing, deployment, and launch methods have failed to meet existing needs,” the report found.
“Space Assembly (ISA) technology can be effectively adapted to the assembly of large space structures, improving spacecraft performance and reducing operating costs.”
The Chinese government plans to put a megawatt-scale solar power plant on track and return electricity to Earth for use in China’s power grid by 2050.
This makes it possible to create “fixed structures such as space infrastructure, gas stations, space manufacturing facilities, space travel facilities, and spacecraft at asteroid mining stations.”
But to reach this stage, we need to develop not only new materials, but also many new technologies, such as advances in robotics and artificial intelligence.
Research funding proposals include modeling orbital mechanics and simulations to control the space-based assembly process.
The Chinese government plans to release about $ 2.3 million to five research projects investigating large structures in orbit and how to make them feasible.
The Chinese government has instructed researchers to create lighter materials that will require less launch to build structures in Earth’s orbit in the future.
Other work being developed by China includes a giant telescope project that will be built into space from parts shipped from the ground and sent throughout orbit, in collaboration with the University of Sally in the United Kingdom, rather than on Earth. increase.
The current focus, known as the ultra-large caliber orbital assembly project, is on how to automate intelligent orbital assembly.
With an opening of 10 meters, it is more than twice the size of the opening of NASA and ESA’s James Webb Space Telescope and will be launched later this year.
The China Space Technology Research Institute (CAST) is currently constructing a test facility in Chongqing, which will eventually receive beam-down power from an in-orbit solar power plant, and small-scale tests will begin next year. increase.
Developed by the Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC), the Voyager Station has infrastructure built into orbit around the globe and could be operational as early as 2027.
Zhihui Xue, a robotic engineer at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said:
China is not alone in exploring these concepts. A recent report by the UK government suggests that the UK will invest in its own space-based solar power plant, and many private developers are working on the concept of space stations.
Some of them are being developed by the Orbital Assembly Corporation (OAC).
Voyager stations could be operational as early as 2027, with the infrastructure shipped in orbit around the globe rather than on the ground.
It features a series of pods mounted on the outside of the rotating ring, some of which may be sold to NASA, ESA, etc. for space research.
China has unveiled plans to launch a mile-long fleet of solar panels into space to return energy to Earth by 2035, and the system could have the same power as a nuclear power plant by 2050. Says there is
China plans to launch a mile-long fleet of solar panels into space by 2035 and return energy to Earth to reach its 2060 carbon-neutral target.
Reportedly, when fully operational by 2050, space-based solar arrays will deliver the same amount of power to the grid as nuclear power plants.
The idea of a space power plant was first proposed by science fiction writer Isaac Asimov in 1941 and has been considered in several countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States.
There are no clouds or day or night on Earth that could block the rays of the sun. Space solar power plants are always a zero carbon power source.
However, the Chinese government seems ready to put the system into action by exploring the science and technology behind the idea.
In Chongqing, the Chinese government will start construction of a new Bishan space solar power plant and will start testing by the end of the year, hoping that a megawatt solar power plant will function by 2030.
The cost of setting up or operating a full-space power plant is not clear, but it will be operational by 2035 and will be operational by 2050.
China is trying to build a huge mile-wide “megastructure” in space
Originally published at Texas news today