China is aiming to build a space laboratory at the national level by 2022, as the country successfully launched its Long March-5B rocket on Thursday, carrying the main module of the Chinese space station Tianhe, which shows that China is on track to achieve its space ambitions.
China Media Group (CMG) spoke Friday with Zhong Hongen, deputy chief space application system engineer at China’s manned space flight project, to learn about the exact scientific experiments and facilities available in space, as well as the related effects on our daily lives. .
What experiments will be conducted and what facilities are available?
This is the first time China has operated equipment for scientific experiments weighing up to 500 kilograms, close to the mass of a medium satellite, according to Zhong.
As for the experiments that will be conducted in the main module, they are mainly categorized into two types, namely science experiments for materials without containers and high-quality scientific experiments with microgravity.
Both experiments require the intensive participation of astronauts. For example, after completing an experiment on a batch of samples in a rack for experiments with scientific materials without containers, astronauts must place new samples on the rack.
Completing the tasks of the core module means that China will take a fundamental and critical step in the space application of the space station. Chinese scientists will test the key technologies for the space station, conduct experiments in space materials and study the fundamental physics of microgravity.
Mastering the key technologies of large-scale spacecraft equipment, Chinese scientists will also build an integrated space-to-space system that will deliver long-term results, Zhong added.
The Chinese Space Laboratory at the national level will include three modules: the main module, the first and the second experimental modules. The space station̵
In addition, the main module is equipped with a facility that can observe elements of the space environment such as solar X-rays and high-energy space particles.
How will experiments affect our daily lives?
For example, one of these science experiments for containerless materials will study a special glass material with a high refractive index of 2.4, and such a substance could replace expensive diamonds in the field of optoelectronics.
If combined with rare earth, such a substance can be used to produce highly luminous materials that are expected to be widely used for laser lighting in cars and other vehicles. In addition, this type of highly reflective glass can also be used to increase the resolution of the cameras and reduce their size.
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