China is conducting a secret experiment in orbit


China is quietly conducting an experiment these days on the targeted approach of satellites in orbit. Apparently, Chinese experts are successfully preparing to inspect space vehicles remotely. Including foreign ones.

On Saturday, August 13, the Chinese Shijian-12 spacecraft, after a series of targeted maneuvers, became close to the Chinese satellite Shijian-6-03A.

Under the Shijian-6 program, three pairs of satellites have been launched so far - in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Each pair includes a larger non-maneuvering spacecraft and a smaller maneuvering one. The intended purpose of the system is electronic intelligence. Shijian-6-03A is the non-maneuvering satellite of the third pair, launched on October 25, 2008 by the Long March 4B rocket from the Taiyuan Cosmodrome.

Chinese interception

In January, 2007, China conducted a successful test of a satellite interception system. The kinetic interceptor launched by a ballistic missile successfully destroyed an old Chinese meteorological device, which was in orbit at an altitude of 864 km.

“Shijian-12” was launched this year's 15 on June 2010 by the carrier “Changzheng-2D” from the Jiuquan cosmodrome and launched into orbit by inclination 97.69 ° and height 581 x 608 km. According to an official report from the Xinhua News Agency, it is intended "for studying conditions in outer space, inter-satellite measurements and experiments in the field of communications and other scientific and technical research." In an unofficial manner, it was suggested that the Shijian-12 is a satellite for monitoring the space situation, that is, other spacecraft.

The Shijian-12 was brought almost exactly to the orbital plane of a pair of Shijian-6-03 satellites, but flew 7 kilometers below them. During June 21-23, Shijian-12 raised its orbit by about 4 km and changed the inclination to 97.66 °, reducing the divergence from the orbit of the target in all respects. Over the course of almost 50 days, he slowly caught up with “Shijian-6 − 03A”; at the same time, due to the different precession velocity, the divergence in the orientation of the orbit planes was reduced to zero.

The decisive phase of the experiment began on August 12, when the Shijian-12 temporarily raised the orbit by 10 km and was 7 km above the target. According to calculations, 13 in August approximately at 10.45 UTC (14.45 MSK), he equalized his height and speed with the movement "Shijian-6-03A" and took a position about 160 km ahead of him.

14 August “Shijian-12” again temporarily raised its orbit and August 15 lowered to the target height, but this time only 27 km ahead of it. Probably, the experiment is in development, and its final stage can be expected in the next two to three days.

The purpose of the experiments performed may be to work out convergence algorithms in orbit in the interests of a manned program. The unmanned docking of the ship "Shenzhou-2011" with the orbital laboratory "Tyangun-8" is scheduled for 1 year. But another goal is also possible - the inspection of our own and foreign spacecraft. This version looks more likely, since there is no official information about the experiment, and China has no need to hide its conduct if it is associated with a manned program.
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  1. alatau_09
    5 January 2012 17: 39
    "Who owns the situation in near space, he rules on the terrestrial theaters" - a new Chinese proverb ...
  2. 0
    6 July 2012 18: 20
    Guys, it’s horror. The Chinese began to catch up with Russia. And 50 years ago they could not put together a truck without Soviet help. belay