Raumfahrt - Shenzhou-11 Crew im Orbit zu Tiangong-2 - Update-2


Astronaut plays with silkworms in Tiangong II


Astronaut plays with silkworms in Tiangong II

Astronaut Jing Haipeng takes care of six silkworms taken aboard Tiangong II for an experiment designed by Hong Kong middle school students for watching the insect's spinning, cocooning and transformation in the microgravity, Oct 19, 2016. [Photo/IC]

Astronaut plays with silkworms in Tiangong II

A silkworm plays on a finger of Jing Haipeng aboard the Tiangong II orbiting 393 kilometers above the Earth on Oct 19, 2016. [Photo/IC]






Update: 23.10.2016


Accompanying satellite launched from Tiangong-2


The graphics shows an accompanying satellite designed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences which was launched from space lab Tiangong-2 at 7:31 a.m. on Oct. 23, 2016. (Xinhua/Qu Zhendong)

BEIJING, Oct. 23 An accompanying satellite was launched from space lab Tiangong-2 at 7:31 a.m. on Sunday, said Chinese scientists.

The satellite, which weighs 47 kilograms and is the size of a printer, was launched into space aboard Tiangong-2 on Sept. 15, said the Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilization under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The micro satellite is able to conduct efficient orbit control, process tasks autonomously and transmit data at high speeds, with stronger capabilities compared with the accompanying satellite of the Shenzhou-7 spacecraft, it said.

At the end of October, the satellite will orbit close to Tiangong-2 and Shenzhou-11 and take photos with the high-resolution camera installed on it.

The accompanying satellite will also carry out space experiments with Tiangong-2 to expand the use of space.

The Shenzhou-11 spacecraft carried two astronauts into space on Oct. 17 from northwest China's Gobi Desert. It docked with Tiangong-2 two days later.

Quelle: Xinhua


Update: 26.10.2016


The first "selfie" of Tiangong-2 and Shenzhou-11 together in space

Photo taken by the accompanying satellite, 29 meters from Shenzhou-11 and Tiangong-2. The upper part is Tiangong-2 and the lower is Shenzhou-11. [Photo: CCTV News]

The first 300 photos of the Tiangong-2 space lab and Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft after the docking have been sent back to the earth on Monday, according to CCTV News. 

The photos were taken by an accompanying satellite, which was nicknamed the "Selfie Stick", launched from Tiangong-2 at 7:31 a.m. on last Sunday.

"The accompanying satellite has both a high-resolution camera and infrared camera installed on it for monitoring the space lab," said Chen Hongyu, chief engineer of the satellite program and a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Micro-satellite Innovation Institute.

Photo of the accompanying satellite taken by the two astronauts on board the Tiangong-2. [Photo: CCTV News]

The Technology and Engineering Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that the micro satellite is able to conduct efficient orbit control, process tasks and transmit data at high-speed compared to the earlier model on Shenzhou-7.

The accompanying satellite will orbit close to the Tiangong-2 and Shenzhou-11 to monitor the spacecraft at the end of October.

The Shenzhou-11 was launched on October 17, 2016 with two astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong and docked with Tiangong-2 on October 19, 2016.

Shenzhou-11, China's sixth manned spacecraft, will undertake the country's longest-ever space mission. The two astronauts will spend a total of 33 days in space.

The graphics shows an accompanying satellite designed by the Chinese Academy of Scientists which was launched from space lab Tiangong-2 at 7:31 a.m. on Oct. 23, 2016. [Photo: Xinhua]

Quelle: CRI


Chinese postage stamps honor Shenzhou 11 taikonauts now on space lab

New Chinese stamps and collectible envelopes feature Shenzhou 11 crewmates Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, who are now on board China's Tiangong-2 space lab. (China National Philatelic Corporation)
October 24, 2016 

— China's latest astronauts to launch into space have landed on a series of stamps and related postal souvenirs celebrating their on-going mission.

Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, who docked their Shenzhou 11 spacecraft to China's Tiangong-2 space lab on Tuesday (Oct. 18) beginning a month-long stay at the complex, are featured on the new postage stamps issued by the China National Philatelic Corporation, which is authorized by the China Post to sell stamp products to the public.

The stamps feature the portraits of Jing and Chen. A third issue depicts the crew's Shenzhou 11-Tiangong 2 missionpatch. There is also a dated pictorial cancellation mark that includes an image of the two spacecraft docked together.

The China National Philatelic Corporation is also offering stamped envelopes — "covers" as referred to by collectors — that are also adorned with photos of the taikonauts and a graphic design showing the launch of their Long March 2F rocket. The stamps and covers, which were first issued on Oct. 17, are offered individually or as sets presented in collectible folders.

Chinese stamp depicting the Shenzhou 11 mission patch. (CNPA)

Jing, who turned 50 on board Tiangong-2 on Monday (Oct. 24), is the first Chinese astronaut to make three flights into space. As part of his current mission, Jing is filing journals for the state-run Xinhua news agency.

"This is my third time to fly into space," wrote Jing. "This is also my second time to enter a Tiangong. Tiangong-1 was quite good, but Tiangong-2 is much more comfortable. It is perfect in layout, decoration and matching of colors."

Shenzhou 11 is Chen's first spaceflight. He, too, is writing reports about his experience for Xinhua.

"Being in space for the first time is unusual," Chen wrote. "My big brother Jing Haipeng has really helped me adjust to life up here, and I am slowly getting used to the feeling of zero gravity, and, you know what — I'm starting to enjoy it more and more."

In addition to penning journals, the astronauts have also begun conducting an array of experiments on Tiangong-2, including working with a student-suggested study of live silkworms to see how the larvae react to the microgravity environment.

China's "The Star Dream" collectible set with Shenzhou 11 stamps and postmarked envelopes. (CNPA)

The orbiting laboratory, which is intended as a precursor to a Chinese modular space station, is also equipped with a cold atomic clock and a gamma ray burst study, the latter a joint project by Swiss, Polish and Chinese scientists.

Shenzhou 11 is not the first Chinese crewed mission to be honored on the country's stamps. Similar commemorative issues date back to China's first taikonaut in space, Yang Liwei, and his Shenzhou 5 mission in 2003.

Quelle: SC


Children send birthday wishes to astronaut Jing Haipeng in space



The picture shows a birthday card for taikonaut Jing Haipeng for his 50th birthday. It consists of children's painting works. Oct. 24, 2016 is Jing Haipeng's 50th birthday. Jing, with fellow taikonaut Chen Dong, entered the space lab Tiangong-2 last week and will live in the space lab for 30 days before returning to Earth. (Xinhua)

BEIJING, Children from across the world have extended birthday wishes to taikonaut Jing Haipeng, who is currently orbiting the earth in lab Tiangong-2.

"Happy birthday Uncle Jing Haipeng, 'Tashi delek'," said a Tibetan primary school girl using the Tibetan greeting for good luck and best wishes. She also said that it was her dream to become an astronaut.

Jing, commander of the Shenzhou-11 mission, turned 50 on Monday.

Xinhua has collected over 10,000 birthday wishes for Jing from children from all over the world, including messages, pictures and videos sent from the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan as well as countries including the United States and Sweden.

"I feel lucky to be this close to an astronaut," said a pupil in Beijing. "I'm more than willing to send my birthday wishes to Uncle Jing."

A student from Hangzhou school for the deaf sent her birthday message by sign language. Two days ago, she asked the astronauts in the space lab whether they had seen aliens.

"I haven't seen aliens, yet, but I do harbor a hope that I will see aliens, and many other peculiar things aside," Chen Dong, Jing's teammate in the mission, replied in his Space Journal.

Xinhua has sent some of the children's messages, pictures and videos to Jing.

Quelle: Xinhua




Tiangong and Shenzhou
A “selfie” from China’s Banxing 2 inspection satellite shows the Shenzhou 11 spaceship docked to the Tiangong 2 orbital lab. (Credit: CAS via CCTV)


China’s Tiangong 2 space lab has a paparazzi traveling alongside it, in the form of a picture-snapping satellite that’s the size of a desktop printer.

The satellite, Banxing 2, was released from the lab over the weekend and has already captured hundreds of images of Tiangong 2 with the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft docked to it.

Testing what’s been called an orbital “selfie stick” is one of the prime objectives of the 30-day Shenzhou mission currently being conducted by Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong.

Banxing 2, which builds upon earlier experiments with inspection satellites, will fly in formation and take pictures in visible and thermal infrared wavelengths to monitor the space lab’s condition.

The 100-pound (47-kilogram), solar-powered satellite is due to use its ammonia thruster system to back away as far as 300 miles (500 kilometers) and then approach again for a close-in inspection. Banxing 2 is also expected to take pictures of Earth and monitor orbital debris.

Jing and Chen are due to leave Tiangong 2 in their Shenzhou craft and return to Earth in mid-November, capping off China’s longest crewed space mission.

Quelle: GeekWire


China Exclusive: China's "Little Bee" searches for strongest blasts in universe

A square-shaped probe, dubbed "Little Bee" by Chinese scientists, is searching for gamma-ray bursts, the strongest explosions in the universe.

The formal name of the probe, set atop China's first space lab Tiangong-2, is POLAR (an abbreviation of Polarimetry of Gamma-ray Bursts). The device will help open a new window in the study of gamma-ray astronomy, says Zhang Shuangnan, principal investigator on the POLAR project and a chief scientist at the High Energy Physics Institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Tiangong-2 was launched in September, and the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft last week took two astronauts to a 30-day mission in the space lab. They will prepare for the construction of a more complicated space station, conducting more than a dozen scientific experiments, most of them in cutting-edge fields of exploration.

POLAR is the only international cooperation project on Tiangong-2, involving scientists from the University of Geneva, Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland and Poland's Institute of Nuclear Physics.

"The 30-kg device can be regarded as a telescope, but it is different from other telescopes, as it consists of 1,600 sensitive components to detect the polarization of gamma-ray bursts. They are like the 1,600 facets in the compound eyes of bees. That's why we call it 'Little Bee' ," says Zhang.

"We hope to obtain accurate polarization information of the gamma-ray bursts for the first time ever to better understand the process of how the violent explosions happen," Zhang says.

Gamma-ray bursts are extremely energetic explosions that have been observed in distant galaxies. They are the brightest electromagnetic events known to occur in the universe. Bursts can last from ten milliseconds to several hours.

The intense radiation of most observed gamma-ray bursts is believed to be released during a supernova or hypernova as a rapidly rotating, high-mass star collapses to form a neutron star, quark star, or black hole. A subclass of bursts appear to originate from a different process: the merger of binary neutron stars.

Another aim of "Little Bee" is to determine whether gamma-ray bursts are related to gravitational waves. "If we can detect gamma-ray bursts at the same time gravitational waves happen, it will help us better understand gravitational waves. That will be very interesting," Zhang says.

He estimates that "Little Bee" can detect about 100 gamma-ray bursts during its two-year operating period.

Zhang also wants to try something outside the plan. He and his team have succeeded in locating signals from the Crab Pulsar neutron star by analyzing the data sent back by POLAR.

"This is the first time a Chinese space astronomical instrument has been used to study the remaining pulsar left by the supernova explosion recorded by the ancient Chinese nearly 1,000 years ago," Zhang says.

Quelle: Xinhua


Update: 27.10.2016


Silkworms spin cocoons in Tiangong-2

China's Tiangong-2 space lab has six silkworms for experiments, and some of them have begun to spin cocoons one week after entering space. 

 Silkworms spin cocoons in Tiangong-2

The silkworms are nestled in a specially made box. The six were selected from 4000 silkworms specially cultivated by scientists. 

The astronauts have been tending to them during down time, feeding them mulberry leaves. The experiment was designed by Hong Kong middle school students.

Once returned to earth, these cocoons will be compared with others for the way they've spun their cocoons and the quality of silk in a zero-gravity environment.

Quelle: CCTV



Taikonaut Jing Haipeng shows a suit specially designed for cardiovascular research in gravity-free environment in the space lab Tiangong-2, Oct. 26, 2016. (Xinhua)


ABOARD TIANGONG-2, Today is Oct. 26, the eighth day after Shenzhou-11 docked with Tiangong-2. I am Xinhua space correspondent Jing Haipeng. Hello everyone, we meet again.

Our work schedule is very full, so I fall asleep as soon as I close my eyes at night. I sleep six hours per day on average and feel quite rested. I feel in pretty good physical condition and am confident in our work and mission. Please rest assured.

I saw the birthday greetings sent to me by the children the day before yesterday. I especially liked the video clip of children from home and abroad and your brilliant paintings! I was quite touched. As a matter of fact, they are not only greetings to me but also to Shenzhou-11 as well as China's manned space program.

Uncle Haipeng thanks you for your concerns and greetings.

I wish all children in the world can grow up healthy and happy! I also wish children can have great ambitions from a young age - to become people who dare to dream, have the courage to chase their dreams and work hard to make their dreams true. I hope you can contribute your wisdom and talent to your country. Together we will make the greatest contribution to the realization of the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

You may notice that we are wearing suits that many people have not seen before. We wore pressure suits during the launch, but in Tiangong-2 we wear in-cabin working jumpsuits, and today we are wearing suits specially designed for cardiovascular research in gravity-free environment.

It is a very special suit with many fasteners and several openings, and there are also zippers on it, as we need to take B-scan ultrasonic examinations and electrocardiograms, just like people take on Earth. It's not so convenient to wear our usual suits. With this suit, if I want to take my blood pressure, I just zip the suit. It is so easy and convenient. It is an experiment suit, so it does not look very bright but it is very useful.

Of course we also have other suits, like sports suits for cycling and running, and casual suits we have not shown you yet, but later you will see.



Taikonaut Jing Haipeng wears a suit specially designed for cardiovascular research in gravity-free environment in the space lab Tiangong-2, Oct. 26, 2016.

Quelle: Xinhua

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