/   Home   /   Newsroom   /   News Updates

Space Lab Launches 'Selfie Stick'

Oct 24, 2016     Email"> PrintText Size

The Tiangong II space laboratory released its companion satellite, Banxing-2, at 7:31 am on Sunday.

Weighing 47 kilograms and roughly the size of a desktop printer, the microsatellite has a series of visible light cameras, including a 25 megapixel camera and wide-angle imagers. Its mission is to take photographs of Tiangong II and the Shenzhou XI spacecraft, which docked with the lab on Wednesday.

The satellite, which China Central TV has nicknamed "Selfie Stick", also has an infrared camera that is temperature-sensitive, said Chen Hongyu, chief engineer of the satellite program and a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Micro-satellite Innovation Institute.

"Like a private nurse for Tiangong II and Shenzhou XI, the companion satellite monitors their conditions all the time, which is helpful in detecting failures," he said.

With three solar panels, the satellite can also generate enough power to adjust its orbit to shoot pictures of the lab and spacecraft.

Its predecessor, Banxing-1, accomplished the same mission for Shenzhou VII in 2008. The new model is smaller and has a higher capacity.

Microsatellites weigh 500 to 100 kilograms and are usually cheaper, faster and more advanced than traditional satellites. The commercial potential has attracted much attention from businesses.

"If a company can combine microsatellites with internet services, itcould produce and launch personalized satellites at a very low price," said Wang Huiquan, deputy director of Zhejiang University's Microsatellite Research Center.

On Friday, the United States government unveiled a project aimed at boosting the commercial space industry by pushing for NASA to invest $30 million in microsatellites to allow smaller companies to engage in the industry. (China Daily)

Attachment:

(Editor: LIU Jia)

Contact

Phone:
E-mail:

Related Articles

Tiangong-2;Tiangong;space station;space lab

Tiangong-2 Takes China One Step Closer to Space Station

Sep 16, 2016

China's Tiangong-2 space lab blasted off on Thursday, marking another milestone in its increasingly ambitious space program, which envisions a mission to Mars by the end of this decade and its own space station by around 2020.

Tiangong-2;Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center

China's Spacelab Tiangong-2 Transferred to Launch Pad

Sep 12, 2016

China's second orbiting spacelab Tiangong-2 and its carrier rocket, Long March 2F, were transferred to the launch pad on Friday at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the northwestern province of Gansu. The Tiangong-2 is expected to be sent to space from September 15-2...

Contact Us

Copyright © 2002 - Chinese Academy of Sciences