In Science and Space: China plans to use the newly completed Tiangong space station to test key technologies needed for space-based polar power delivery, according to senior space officials.
The test system then orbits on its own, deploying solar arrays and other systems. It may test and validate functions such as power generation, conversion and transmission.
In a presentation at his ongoing China Space Conference, Yang Hong, the lead designer of the Tiangong space station, said that he will use a robotic arm already operating outside Tiangong to develop a space-based solar energy test system. said it plans to test the assembly of modules in orbit.
The purpose of this test is to “promote individual technology breakthroughs, collect experimental data in orbit, and contribute to the realization of carbon spikes and carbon neutrality,” Yang said. In 2020, China announced a goal to peak carbon emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060.
Long March rocket series lead designer and SBSP proponent in China, Long Lehao, said in June 2021 that the potential project would use the Long March 9 super-heavy rocket under development to meet the required Said to send infrastructure to geostationary orbit.
China recently scrapped plans for an early expendable Long March 9 concept and is looking to switch to a reusable version instead. Xi’an University in China completed a 75-meter-high steel structure facility in June. This is called the world’s first full-link, full-system ground test system for his SBSP.
Another potentially related development last year funded research into building kilometer-scale objects in orbit. Such work could help address the major challenge of assembling the huge arrays needed for solar energy collection and transmission arrays. Space-based solar energy faces major challenges, including economic feasibility and manufacturing costs, cheap and reliable launch services, and efficient and safe power transmission.