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Test for New-generation Manned Spaceship and LM-5B Carrier Rocket in Full Swing with Strict Epidemic Precautions
SOURCE: China Space News     UPDATED: 2020-03-27

BEIJING, March 26 (China Space News) -- A trial version of China's new-generation manned spaceship and the Long March-5B carrier rocket are being tested at the Wenchang Space Launch Center on the coast of south China's island province of Hainan with strict epidemic prevention and control measures being implemented.

A leading group for epidemic prevention and control has also been set up to ensure that work standards are not lowered and development plans are not delayed while fully implementing the requirements for epidemic prevention and control and overcoming the difficulties in personnel and work caused by the COVID-19 epidemic.

Compared with the Shenzhou spacecraft, the new generation of manned spacecraft is larger, can carry both astronauts and cargo, and can be reusable.

The prototype will test a range of technologies and lay the technical foundation for sending and carrying back Chinese astronauts to and from China's space station in the future.

The development team used new materials and a new structure to make the heat shielding capacity three to four times greater than that of the Shenzhou spacecraft.

The new spacecraft comprises a service capsule and a return capsule. The return capsule is reusable and is expected to be reused around 10 times, making it very economical.

The upcoming mission will also test the landing process with multiple parachutes and airbags for safety.