November 27, 2021

The Shenzhou 11 spacecraft can successfully return to the original because of this

Finally, astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, who have worked in space for 30 days, returned to the embrace of their motherland. On November 18th, riding the huge white and white umbrella, the Shenzhou 11 manned spacecraft returning to the cabin safely landed on the Siziwangqi grassland. This is the 11th departure of the Shenzhou spacecraft recycling landing system, setting the recovery system the longest. After the track record, return safely.

As the public saw from the TV screen, when the Shenzhou 11 returned, the guiding umbrella, the parachute, and the main umbrella were opened one after another. The landing reversed the engine ignition work and the return cabin landed. These actions have only one purpose: to allow the spacecraft to return to the cabin to gently embrace the mother of the earth, to mitigate the impact of the landing impact on astronauts' health and spacecraft.

This is not easy. Recycling and landing is the final step in manned space activities and the last bar that determines whether astronauts can return home safely. China Youth Daily·China Youth Online reporter interviewed relevant experts to uncover the three major tools for the safe return of the escort Shenzhou 11 spacecraft.

Found: a pair of "gazing" eyes of the spaceship

As Shenzhou 11 landed smoothly in the scheduled area of ​​Siziwangqi, the recovery tracking and measurement mission of the LM-313 radar (codenamed “Recycling No. 1”) also ended.

"Recycling No. 1" radar is used for the return of the spacecraft. From the moment when the manned spacecraft breaks through the atmosphere and rushes to the ground, "Recycling No. 1" closely "watches" it, searches the return path, captures the target, and tells the ground to wait. People, Shenzhou 11 went home.

This radar, developed by the Second Academy of Aerospace Science and Technology Group, is the first precision tracking phased array measurement radar in China. As early as August 1999, it was placed in the front radar station of the Baiyun Obo field. On November 21 of the same year, it completed the tracking and measurement task of the “Shenzhou No.1” recycling section.

So far, "Recycling No. 1" has carried out the "Shenzhou" spacecraft recycling mission and the "Mir" space station returning measurement missions for 11 consecutive times, and successfully completed the mission. It also took over the "嫦娥" home, and in the manned spaceflight project, it can be described as an "old driver."

The general manager of the “Recycling No.1” project revealed to reporters that especially when the Shenzhou-2 mission was carried out, only the “Recycling No.1” tracking the return of the spacecraft in the main landing site was based on its data to find the spacecraft. Made great efforts.

At noon on November 18th, the landing recovery mission of the Shenzhou 11 manned spacecraft began. The “Recycling No. 1” stood quietly in the recycling yard and looked like a torch.

When the returner is a certain distance from the ground, the first point in the capture range begins to appear on the radar screen. The general manager of the “Recycling No. 1” project said that everyone was uplifted as the accused hall staff reported the “Recovery One” discovery target. After that time, the echo capture continued and stabilized until the Shenzhou spacecraft landed safely.

Connection: let the return capsule fly freely to the landing field

On the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft, there is a part called "connecting and separating mechanism", which is almost invisible from the outside. It is as small as a teacup and hidden between the various compartments. It is an uncompromising Behind the scenes hero.

Connecting the separation mechanism, it is said that the three locks, between the orbital and return compartments, is the first lock, mainly the first safety guarantee for the astronauts to return to the earth smoothly. Between the return and propulsion bays is the second lock, which is used to ensure that the return capsule enters the atmosphere and is the primary equipment for landing at a predetermined time after the scheduled time. Before the spacecraft landed, it was the turn to throw the bottom lock on the field. The action of throwing the bottom lock is related to whether the heat-resistant outsole can be thrown on time. It is an important procedure to ensure the safety of the astronauts when returning.

Therefore, the connection and separation mechanism is visually compared to the arm of the Shenzhou spacecraft, and the three cabins of the spacecraft can be strongly connected. At the same time, according to the stage requirements of the spacecraft's work, the individual compartments are separated by milliseconds.

This system was developed by the Aerospace Science and Industry Group Third Hospital 111 Factory. It is not easy to do these three "locks".

It is important to know that when the rocket rises, the three "locks" are subject to loads weighing several tons, ensuring tight connections between the cabins. According to the person in charge of the separation and separation project of the No. 111 Plant of the Aerospace Science and Industry Group, the spacecraft cannot guarantee smooth sailing during the flight. Sometimes it may encounter lateral airflow in the air, which will be affected by the bending moment. This must be guaranteed. In the launch and running sections, an absolutely rigid connection is achieved, overcoming various external forces, and no looseness is allowed, which may result in the disintegration of the spacecraft or the disintegration of the ground.

The next step is the test of docking. When the spacecraft approaches the "Tiangong No. 2" and the rendezvous and docking process is implemented, the connection needs to be secure and free from external forces. When the rendezvous and docking is completed and the spacecraft is ready to return, the first lock will be opened accurately, the orbital module will be pushed off, and the propulsion and return cabin assemblies will be put on the way home.

When the propulsion cabin pushes the return capsule back into the atmosphere and arrives at the scheduled trajectory at the scheduled time, the second lock will not open without hesitation, pushing the propulsion cabin and allowing the return cabin to fly freely to the landing field.

The last moment is coming. When the return cabin is close to the landing field, the bottom end of the tank is used to defend against the heat-absorbing outsole that absorbs the frictional heat of the atmosphere, and the mission is to be carried out by the bottom lock. The project leader of the 111 factory said that the outsole would be thrown away, and the parachute stacked inside could be opened smoothly, and then returned to the ground safely with the return cabin.

Brake: the height judgment of the last moment

At the last moment of the Shenzhou 11 manned spacecraft slowing down and landing, a dazzling brilliance flashed into the TV screen. Many people will be very tight about this: "Is such a big impact, all of them are burning?"

In fact, this "light" is a safe signal, and it is the sign that the Shenzhou 11 return cabin reverses the engine start. At the last moment before the spacecraft landed, the gamma height control device developed by the Aerospace Science and Industry Group Third Hospital 35 detected the height of the return cabin from the ground, started the reverse thrust engine, and “emergency braking” to reduce the speed of descent to safety. speed.

After the "soft" friction with the air, the Shenzhou spacecraft returned to the cabin to enter the landing buffer. Originally, this last step was a hard impact, but Wang Zheng, the person in charge of the gamma height control device, told the reporter that the device could make the spacecraft land at the moment. , to determine the height of the spacecraft, so as to implement the "brake", specifically to see the process -

When the return compartment drops to a height of several kilometers from the ground, the main umbrella opens and the gamma height control device begins to power up.

At a height of a few meters from the ground, the gamma height control gives a pre-command signal indicating that the astronaut is about to land.

When the return capsule approaches the ground, the gamma height control device gives an ignition command to control the reverse thrust engine ignition, and thus the mission of the device is completed.

The gamma height control device, known as the final link of the Shenzhou spacecraft mission, is the key equipment of the spacecraft. However, before the Shenzhou-8 mission, China has been using foreign products in this regard.

At that time, there was a lack of relevant research on the use of gamma-ray sources in China to achieve high levels of control. At the beginning of the establishment of 35 projects of the Third Academy of Aerospace Science and Industry Group, only the administrative command plus three masters and two young people were considered to be the smallest team in the institute.

Liu Bo, then assistant to the director, served as the administrative commander of the gamma height control device project. He said that the situation at that time was no more than the present. No one knows whether our products could finally be on the spacecraft. It can be said that "the road ahead is unknown."

Day after day, waiting and paying finally got a response. The 35 gamma height control devices proved themselves in the comprehensive airdrop test and finally became the Shenzhou 7 backup product. That year, Wang Zheng became the chief designer of the gamma height control device, the third generation chief designer of the project.

In November 2011, the domestic gamma height control device was successfully applied to the Shenzhou spacecraft. Wang Zheng believes that he is fortunate. Although there are too many difficulties to overcome, he has given himself the opportunity and support to show his ambition and how to understand how the country’s space industry has been built. He understands what is “national interest above all else”. ", know more about what is heritage.

Today's mission is the fourth time that the domestic gamma height control device participated in the space flight of the Shenzhou spacecraft. It is this small part that lights up the last part of the road for the astronauts. The astronauts have experienced hard struggles for more than 10 years. After experiencing the constant fall, questioning, and climbing up, the dream of "putting the domestic devices to the sky" has finally come true.

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