Launch News Shenzhou 9, Long March 2F, June 16, 2012 (mission updates)

Yoda

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Majortom and I discussed it briefly but time was a problem. I would like to update it though, perhaps this summer holiday. Back in 2007 I already started a then conjectural Shenzhou 10 mission with ISS docking adaptor:


That's great news !!!!
Any chance of already releasing the docking adapter version so I can dock with my station :) ?
 

Galactic Penguin SST

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For the past few hours Shenzhou 9 has made several burns to close in towards Tiangong 1. In less than two hours from now (03:45 UTC) Shenzhou 9 will take over active control of the approaching phase. Docking would occur at around 06:10 UTC, or around 4 hours from now.
 

bagabool

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Docking complete, congrats to the Chinese (and Russian technology ;))
 

NovaSilisko

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"The two spacecraft are joined...in space."
 

kerlix

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maybe im just unfamiliar with docking, but i felt like the closure rate was pretty high. unless the video was sped up or something. then again, maybe i dont know what im talking about.
 

Galactic Penguin SST

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maybe im just unfamiliar with docking, but i felt like the closure rate was pretty high. unless the video was sped up or something. then again, maybe i dont know what im talking about.
http://www.orbiter-forum.com/showthread.php?p=312372&postcount=54

The docking was via APAS which requires enough force to latch the capture ring. The US Space Shuttle and the ISS both have huge masses, so a slow approach is sufficient. The Chinese spacecraft were only several tonnes each, so they need to move a fair bit faster to ensure capture. This is one of the reasons why the US has been working on the Low Impact Docking System for Orion and the International Docking Standard.
 

NovaSilisko

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maybe im just unfamiliar with docking, but i felt like the closure rate was pretty high. unless the video was sped up or something. then again, maybe i dont know what im talking about.
I'm pretty sure you need a higher velocity with a smaller spacecraft, to compress the docking ring enough for it to latch. The space shuttle didn't need to move as fast since it was much more massive. And, considering both use APAS (I think?), it makes sense.

Edit: Dammit, ninja'd by a penguin! Nice to see my on-the-spot theory was right though :p
 
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C3PO

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The target speed for contact was 0.2 m/s for this docking.
 

IronRain

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NASASpaceflight.com: China’s Shenzhou-9 successfully docks with Tiangong-1

Spaceflight Now:

Flying on autopilot with three astronauts on-board, China's Shenzhou 9 spacecraft glided to a smooth docking with the Tiangong 1 space lab Monday, two days after the crew lifted off on a Long March rocket. The astronauts opened the hatch and entered the orbiting module shortly after 0900 GMT (5 a.m. EDT).
 
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Galactic Penguin SST

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If my calculations are correct, this is the fourth time in history that two space stations are simultaneously manned in Earth orbit! (the last three are in December 1998, May 1999 and May 2000, during the first three missions of the ISS and while Mir is still being manned) Hopefully the SZ-9 crew can enjoy their stay on-board the mini Chinese space station. :thumbup:
 
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