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Innovative features of Shenzhou-11 spacecraft

(People's Daily Online)    16:37, October 17, 2016

Simulated image of Shenzhou-11 docking with Tiangong-2 space lab

The Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Oct. 17. In the wake of that momentous event, Luo Guqing, director of guidance, navigation and control system for the spacecraft, introduced four highlights of innovation at work on the Shenzhou-11.

Equipped with a wide-beam data relay system, the increased scope and working capacity of relay terminal have helped to secure link between the ground and space. Astronauts are therefore able to stay in better contact with ground control.

For docking with the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, Shenzhou-11 adopted CRDS imaging sensor technology, which is capable of taking measurements under the harsh illumination. This feature increases the reliability of space rendezvous, ensuring that the spacecraft can dock in complicated circumstances.

Shenzhou-11 features an emergency return system to guarantee the astronauts' safety. In the event of an emergency, the spacecraft can break free and return to Earth, either automatically or manually. Extra food and drinking water are stockpiled to support the daily life of astronauts in space.

The thermal design of Shenzhou-11 has been improved to reduce temperature risks caused by rotations and shifts of the spacecraft. The solar panel of the spacecraft faces the sun at all times in order to ensure an adequate supply of energy.

All in all, the Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft is expected to fly higher, facilitate more experiments and remain for a longer time in space than any of its predecessors. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhang Tianrui, Bianji)

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