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China Upgrades Spacecraft Reentry and Descent Technology
SOURCE: China Space News UPDATED: 1 June 2018

BEIJING, June 1 (China Space News) -- China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) has successfully tested its new space program's reentry and descent technology, which makes landing heavier spacecraft possible.

Current spacecraft landing methods such as parachute and airbag landings can not satisfy the deceleration needs of heavier manned spacecraft reentry missions.

CASC successfully conducted three experiments, involving upgraded parachute and airbag landing techniques as well as the inflatable reentry and descent technology (IRDT).

The upgraded parachutes proved reliable with strong structure and performance and can be used to slow down a spacecraft at the initial stage of reentry.

According to the test results, the upgraded airbag landing technology uses high-impact materials to cover spacecrafts during landing and can increase the current deceleration capacity.

IRDT is a brand new integrated inflatable heat insulating deceleration system that CASC has deployed in experiments.

Future recoverable capsules based on IRDT technology can land spacecraft without heat shields and parachutes.

IRDT-based recoverable capsules will be able to provide buffer and protection to spacecraft when landing while inflating air bags which cover the spacecraft.

The technology will be used in deep space exploration and the quick return of space stations, scientific experiment satellites and space freight.

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