Minhang’s skills in aerospace have contributed to China’s crewed missions in the construction of the space station.
Three astronauts aboard China’s Shenzhou-15 spacecraft entered the country’s space station and rendezvoused with another astronaut trio on 30 November. It was a historic gathering, marking the first time additional manpower was included in the in-orbit space lab, which now had six astronauts aboard. ,
The Shenzhou-15 manned spacecraft successfully docked with the space station assembly within six and a half hours.
The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation 8th Institute in Minhang was responsible for the research and production of the docking system, battery system, telemetry telecommand and control system, propulsion cabin cable network and cabin distributor.
To ensure accurate and safe docking, the research team conducted 31 times the catcher and buffer test on Earth and calculated the catcher and buffer capacity of the docking system under 31 working conditions including single limit deviation and compound deviation.
During the handover of control of the space station, the Shenzhou-14 and Shenzhou-15 spacecraft, due to their different docking locations, had diverse power generation, lighting, and space-Earth communication conditions.
The Shenzhou-14 astronauts, who had completed all their assigned tasks, returned to Earth on 4 December after 183 days in space.
The thrust reversal engine, also developed by the CASC 8th Institute, protected the astronauts during their journey back to Earth.