The Eighth Annual Conference of China CNSS and LBS and the China BDS Applications Forum were held in Zhengzhou, Henan Province on Sept 10.
Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering Qi Faren, who is also the chief designer of Shenzhou spaceships, said that China is now working on a new type of reusable manned spaceship.
"The previous Shenzhou spaceships cannot meet the demands of current space industry development. China will conduct missions like landing on the moon and Mars, which calls for development of multi-functional reusable spaceships," he explained.
According to the conference, the new type of manned spaceship can travel repeatedly between space and Earth. Such spaceships, designed to be nine-meter in length with a maximum launch weight of 23 tons, will be equipped with a re-entry capsule and a service module.
Advanced technologies will be used on such spaceships' structure, propelling and recovery systems and reusable components.
Zhang Bainan, chief designer of the manned spaceship system at the China Academy of Space Technology which is affiliated to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, has said that China's next generation manned spaceship will be able to fly to low Earth orbit and can shoulder manned moon landing missions.
To testify key technologies like the aerodynamic design and the reusable system of the new spaceship and examine the aerodynamic parameters of the re-entry capsule, a scale model of a multi-functional spaceship was launched by a Long March-7 on Jun 25, 2016.
Its re-entry capsule landed at the southwestern Gobi area of the Dongfeng Landing Field in central Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.
(Executive editor: Zhang Tianyuan)