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Base Journal: Escort for TanSat

Dec 22, 2016     Email"> PrintText Size


Group Photo of Exoperiment Team (Image by CAS Shanghai Branch)

2016 is doomed to be unusually in the history of Chinese aviation and the satellite is one of so many “firsts” in the year, which is further to be recorded in the history.

In the early morning of December 22, China launched the first carbon dioxide monitoring satellite (referred to as “TanSat”), which would begin its in-orbit work for three years. TanSat will record data lasting for about 10 hours every day, which will serve as the first-hand data for carbon dioxide monitoring in China. “It is just when Paris Agreement has taken effect officially, so TanSat is a responsible one,” said XIANGLI Bin, Vice President of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

The team who created the “responsible” satellite had overtime work several months ago. On Nov. 8th, the satellite developed by CAS Micro-satellite Research Institute left the factory in Shanghai and was transported to Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. In the kick-off meeting, XIANGLI Bin expected  the team to “build up the body and civilize the spirits”. 

This is a research team comprising 125 people at the average age of 31. There are many experienced veterans going through numerous missions in the experiment team, who are united like one person and submit themselves to the direction. Coming towards them, you will find they are unique souls, gather together because of the cause they love and form the unique “micro-satellite spirit”.

Nov. 12 is the second day when the experiment team entered the base. In the working conference, the team leader made propagation and implementation of rules, security and confidentiality to all the members. After the conference, all the detachments made another intense round of discussion and confirmation of their own working plans and detailed rules for assembly and testing in the launch site in order to lay a solid foundation for the following experiment teams developing the work in all the phases in the launch site.

TanSat eventually arrived at Jiuquan Launch Base after a week’s journey on Nov. 14. In the early morning, the experiment team headed for the comprehensive test workshop, double checked the security and cleanness on the scene and made full preparation for the arrival the satellite and the following test. In the afternoon, the special train carrying the satellite pulled into the base slowly. According to previous arrangement, the experiment team finished in an orderly way the unloading and transfer work of the satellite, testing instruments and equipment and living goods under the unified leadership.

The TanSat has a very high measuring accuracy. “In the atmosphere, the density of carbon dioxide is only about four in ten thousand. However, as long as the density changes by one percent, it will be detected by TanSat. Therefore, we must test it repeatedly to ensure its accuracy”, ZHANG Yong, the vice chief designer of TanSat introduced.

On Nov. 18, TanSat passed the power-up test; on Nov. 22, carbon loading passed the test of optic character; on Nov. 25, the experiment team made series of tests and TanSat was batten down formally. On Dec. 7, the satellite filling began; on Dec. 11, the underskirt and belt angle of the satellite were installed and connected to the supporting cabin of the rocket.

"TanSat, which was once closely associated with us, is just like the comrade fighting shoulder by shoulder. We only hope it can complete the mission successfully and benefit the people’s livelihood." CHENG Rui, chief of the model office, is filled with reluctance and expectation seeing the satellite entering the supporting cabin slowly.

"The launch of TanSat will provide data support for scientific development and enable our country to have the discourse power in the future carbon transaction. In addition, China will share the monitoring data with global researchers”. YIN Zengshan, chief designer of TanSat, felt proud of the young team and the achievement they got.


(Editor: CHEN Na)



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