Explore the Shenzhou 11 Spacecraft
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Explore the Shenzhou 11 Spacecraft


The Shenzhou 11 mission took off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert in northern China at 7:30am (23:30 GMT) aboard a Long March-2F carrier rocket. Based on Shenzhou X data, it is known that the amount of electricity a manned spacecraft needs to fly one day is just 43 degrees. The electricity consumption of a common domestic air-conditioner can support the spacecraft to orbit the Earth for one hour. However, once the spacecraft reaches the space, it will lose power source. How it moves and how two astronauts make experiments and live without electricity supply ?  

Solar panels that Shenzhou 11 spacecraft adopts, are the first panels made from materials manufactured in China, according to Shen Bingbing, the person in charge of Shenzhou 11 power supply subsystem technology. It takes Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology and partners more than one year to successfully develop rigid solar panels from domestic high modulus carbon fibers and aluminum honeycomb cores, ending an unfavourable situation that China has to import high performance carbon fiber materials. The performance of panels reach an advanced level and localization of solar panels lays a foundation for self-control of space station project.  

Shenzhou 11  spacecraft
When Shenzhou 11 spacecraft docks with Tiangong 2 space lab, part of equipment will stop working. At that time, the electricity consumption of the whole spacecraft will drop by 40% and the battery will develop memory effect. The batteries are likely to supply insufficient electricity once power consumption is back to full load condition. In order to solve that problem, technicians from Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology adopts the method of adjusting charging curves. Through comparisons of eight years of Shenzhou 8, 9 and 10 data and large quantities of long-term ground tests, they finally find one charging curve which matches with Shenzhou 11 working condition.   

When the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft flies, solar heat and energy convert into electric power. Once the spacecraft parks, power consumption falls but the power remains the same. The redundant power will generate the heat, causing the rising of solar panel temperature and change of some materials. The personnel carried out many high-low temperature circulation tests for solar panels and strictly examined the performance of materials at high and lower temperature. If the temperature of solar panel rises, the spacecraft can go into a stall or offset to reduce the temperature of “wing”.