The Manned Spaceship
The safe return of China's first manned spaceship on October 16, 2003 has made China the third country in the world that has successfully sent man into space following the United States and the former Soviet Union. For China, this has been a huge breakthrough in space technology.
Unlike the unmanned spaceship, the manned spaceship, which involves direct participation of human beings, must meet some special technological requirements.
The modules where the astronauts work or live must be tightly sealed and implement an environmental control program to regulate the temperature, humidity and pressure in the modules and the spacesuits, absorb the end products of metabolism, handle harmful matters in the modules, and provide oxygen, ventilation and water while disposing of the waste.
The manned spaceship must be equipped with a variety of emergency equipment so that different emergency lifesaving measures can be adopted at different stages of spaceflight accordingly.
Human involvement in the operation and control of the spaceship can increase the reliability of the system and help handle unpredictable emergencies; therefore, the manned spaceship is equipped with manual control devices and various apparatuses to make the job more convenient for the astronauts.
To ensure the safe return of the astronauts, in addition to the strict temperature control by means of the thermal-protective coating and temperature regulation in the modules, the force of overloading during the landing process must also be restricted within man's endurance capacity.
Meanwhile, high precision of landing is also very important.
All the systems and equipment of the manned spaceship must undergo reliability design, and the key units must have backup systems. The spaceship must pass ground test and simulated flight test under strict control of environments so as to avoid hidden perils. The design of the spaceship must also allow the astronauts to carry out maintenance and replacement in case of equipment failure.
From a long-term point of view, it is a historic inevitability for man to venture into the outer space and explore the universe in depth and in width. The development and application of manned spaceflight technology will have great influence on a country's politics, military affairs, economy and science and technology.