Tianzhou 7 arrives in Wenchang! Expected to launch in January 2024
Recently, after completing the work related to leaving the factory, the “Tianzhou 7” cargo spacecraft has arrived at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in Hainan Province, China, People’s Republic of China. Subsequent final assembly, testing and other work will be carried out as planned. Preparations for the launch site for the next cargo supply mission are underway as planned. Expand.
It is expected that in January 2024, the “Tianzhou-7” cargo spacecraft will be launched by the “Long March 7” Yao-8 carrier rocket. The spacecraft will ascend using the rapid rendezvous and docking mode and dock behind the “Tianhe” core module of the Chinese Space Station. Send a new batch of cargo supplies to the port for the “God Seventeen” mission. Before the “Tianzhou-7” spacecraft goes up, the “Tianzhou-6” spacecraft will unlock and separate from the rear port of the “Tianhe” core module, freeing up the docking port for the former.
The “Tianzhou-7” cargo spacecraft is the second in a new batch of “Tianzhou” spacecraft. This batch has developed and produced six spacecrafts, “Tianzhou-6” to “Tianzhou-11”. Compared with the “Tianzhou-5” spacecraft in the previous batch, the “Tianzhou-7” spacecraft has undergone system upgrades and greatly improved the cargo compartment. The cabin volume has increased by 20% and the transportation capacity has increased by about 500. Kilogram, the maximum transport capacity has been increased from the previous 6.9 tons to about 7.4 tons, and the materials provided to astronauts will be able to support longer missions. Based on the increase in transportation capacity, the launch density of the space station mission “Tianzhou” cargo spacecraft has been adjusted from the previous 2 times/1 year to 3 times/2 years, with an average of one launch mission every 8 months, and the subsequent launch density will be further reduced.
The “Tianzhou-7” cargo spacecraft adopts a dual-cabin tandem configuration, with a propulsion cabin and a cargo cabin from bottom to top. The total length of the spacecraft is 10.6 meters, the maximum diameter of the main body (cargo compartment) is 3.35 meters, the dry mass is 6.5 tons, the maximum upward transport capacity is 7.4 tons, and the cargo-cargo ratio reaches 0.53. The “Tianzhou” improved cargo spacecraft is the spacecraft with the strongest transportation capacity, the highest cargo load ratio, and the most comprehensive on-orbit support capabilities among the world’s active cargo spacecraft.
Since the establishment of the space station, the launch missions of China’s manned space project have entered a normalized stage, with 2 manned launch missions and 1 to 2 cargo launch missions being carried out on a regular basis every year. According to the plan, China’s manned space program will carry out four launch missions in 2024: “Tianzhou 7”, “Shenzhou 18”, “Tianzhou 8” and “Shenzhou 19”. Among them, “Tianzhou 7” “No. 1” mission will take the lead.