Second Step Manned Space Utilization

Shenzhou VII

In the Shenzhou VII spacecraft, the Space Utilization System implements three main utilization tasks. First, during the autonomous flight of Shenzhou VII, release a concomitant satellite after the astronaut extravehicular activities,  testing China’s space vehicle re-release technology and concomitant flight technology for the first time by using a spacecraft platform, and for the first time carrying out and realizing test on flying around technology to passive none-cooperative targets. Second, with the astronaut extravehicular activities, carry out exposure test on solid lubricating material in outer space. The test sample material is recovered by extravehicular astronauts. Through the exposure test, conduct research on the mechanism of outer space’s effect on the decay or modification of material property and explore technological approaches to improve the performance of solid lubricant which is used as the mechanical parts in space equipments.  It’s also the first successfully extravehicular scientific experiment operated by astronauts. Third, release medium and long-term forecast in the engineering phase of the mission of Shenzhou VII by the Space Environment Forecast Center of the Space Utilization System and release medium, short-term forecast and warning of abnormal environmental events prior to launch, launch and in-orbit phases. The payload center of Space Utilization System is responsible for the monitoring and management of running test of payload in orbit.


The highly anticipated Tiangong-1 target spacecraft was successfully launched on the evening of September 29, 2011. The Tiangong-1 Space Utilization System mainly develops research on earth environment monitoring, space material science experiment and space environment exploration, and releases space environment forecasts and alerts in the meanwhile.

In earth environment monitoring, a utilization test on Hyperspectral imager was conducted. Independently developed by China, the hyper-spectral imager helped to acquire hyperspectral remote sensing data of different regions on the earth. it has such characteristics as multi-band, narrow band width, high spectral resolution, large amount of data, information redundancy,and ”atlas unity” ,etc. Hyperspectral remote sensing can be widely used in the field of geology and mineral, vegetation ecology, atmospheric science, oceanography, agriculture and so on.

In space material science experiments, composite colloidal crystal growth experiment was carried out. Focusing on hot spots in current international,condensed matter physics and applied research, the experiment  carried out test on complex colloidal crystal growth. It adopted Kossel ray diffraction method for the first time, took advantage of  the space microgravity environment, to research transformation kinetics process of colloidal crystals of three different disperse systems. Meanwhile, the experiment directly obtained scientific experimental information and data with “remote imaging” approach, reducing the impact of recovery process on experimental conditions.

In space environment exploration, Charged particles, atmospheric composition, atmospheric density and ionospheric perturbations exploration experiments were conducted , which will provide long-term and wider scope of space environment security assurance to China’s manned space program.

Shenzhou VIII

On the Shenzhou VIII spacecraft, Sino-German space life science experiments were conducted. China and Germany jointly developed the experimental system, carried out 17 space life science experiments, 10 conducted by China, 6 by Germany, and 1 by Sino-German cooperation.

The experiments have got great achievements: for the first time, obtained dozens of plant cytoskeleton-associated protein changing in microgravity condition and found the change in assembly methods of tetraphosphate diadenosine enzyme molecules of shigella dysenteriae in micro-gravity environment, and successfully gained thousands of microgravity related differentially expressed genes, which  laid the foundation for future space higher plant cultivation, biological behavior of space environment, damage and genetic variation studies and controlled ecological life systems.

The experiments explored international cooperation model and method, formed relevant norms, and laid the foundation for broad international cooperation.

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