China and France Team Up for Cutting-Edge Gamma-Ray Burst Research Mission

China and France have collaborated on a cutting-edge gamma-ray burst research mission. This mission will use sophisticated science instrumentation from both countries. In 2014, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the French Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES) joined forces to launch the Space-based multi-band astronomical Variable Objects Monitor (SVOM).

A satellite with extremely sensitive gamma-ray burst detection equipment will be used for the mission. Gamma-ray bursts are intense cosmic explosions that last only a few seconds. Moreover, they emit electromagnetic radiation at high energies in the X-ray and gamma-ray spectrum. The satellite will look for these bursts, and the mission consortium consists of several organizations. They include the National Astronomical Observatory of China (NAOC), Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP), and Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP) in France, as well as Leicester University in the UK and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

The Gamma Ray Burst Monitor (GRM) and Visible Telescope (VT) will work in tandem to detect light emissions in optical wavelengths that occur immediately after a gamma-ray burst (GRB) event. Furthermore, it will gauge the range of emissions from GRBs that originate from China. The Microchannel X-ray Telescope (MXT), on the other hand, was created by France. It uses novel “lobster eye” optics to provide a wide field of vision. Both of these telescopes were developed by France. China and France will both contribute to the mission’s ground section. It will be used to direct the spacecraft, gather scientific data, and plan follow-up investigations of GRBs.

The Shanghai Engineering Center for Microsatellites in China built the SVOM satellite. It has a mass of 2,050 pounds (930 kilograms). The satellite is built for a nominal three-year mission, with a potential follow-up extended term of two years. Using the Long March 2C rocket, the satellite will be launched from the Xichang spaceport in southwest China in December, as scheduled.

Recently, the two payloads were made available for transit to China for satellite integration, according to the mission’s Twitter account. The collaborative mission represents an important advancement in the study of gamma-ray bursts. Furthermore, it demonstrates the importance of international collaboration in scientific investigation and space discovery.

The joint Chinese-French mission to study gamma-ray bursts is proof of the effectiveness of cross-border cooperation and scientific investigation. Gamma-ray bursts are intense, brief cosmic explosions that are being looked for by a satellite equipped with cutting-edge research tools. China and France will both contribute to the mission’s ground section, which will be used to direct the spacecraft, gather scientific data, and plan follow-up investigations of GRBs. The launch of the mission in December will be a major turning point for gamma-ray burst science and space travel.

First Launch from New Chinese Commercial Spaceport Set for 2024

The development of the first launch station at the Hainan Commercial Launch Site is expected to be finished by the end of 2024. This will take China’s aerospace sector another step forward. Two launch pads, a launch tower with support structures, water spray systems, lightning protection towers, rocket transfer equipment, and other amenities will be part of the site. A Long March 8 rocket is anticipated to be used for the first launch from the new location in 2024. It will be used for commercial missions and ridesharing 

A second launch pad is also anticipated for the Hainan Commercial Launch Complex in Hainan. The combination of the new launch facilities would make it easier to support China’s expanding launch industry. They will be essential for the country’s commercial rocket companies, whose activity is anticipated to grow by 2024.

The established inland spaceports of Jiuquan, Taiyuan, and Xichang in China, as well as the current launch pads at Wenchang, have been experiencing congestion. The cause of this outcome is the rising demand for launch services. This congestion will be lessened by the new commercial location. The new commercial location also permits the use of kerosene and methane among other fuel kinds.

A larger project for a Wenchang International Aerospace City includes the construction of the Hainan Commercial Launch Site. In addition to satellite data and application services, the city will include rocket assembly industries and satellite research and development facilities. The concerned parties have signed contracts to establish a presence in the city. They include CASC, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and the commercial launch firms Deep Blue Aerospace as well as iSpace. Reusable liquid launchers are being developed by the latter pair.

Wenchang has already been the focus of China’s developing launch capabilities. It began with the construction of the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in 2014. This made it possible for China to launch new, more powerful cryogenic rockets. These rockets could carry 22-metric-ton space station modules into orbit. The nation’s first interplanetary expedition, Tianwen-1, as well as a lunar sample return mission, were both launched from this location. With plans for up to 30 launches per year, the site’s activities are expected to increase.

Wenchang will play a bigger part in China’s space goals going forward as the location is extended to make it easier to launch missions to the moon. A low earth orbit test launch of the personnel launcher CASC is constructing for lunar missions is scheduled for 2026. A quick mission to land people on the moon before 2030 may be supported by two of the full, triple-core, three-stage rockets.

Wenchang will participate in the launch of China’s Guowang low Earth orbit communications mega-constellation using the Long March 5B rocket in addition to human missions. The communications services and infrastructure in China will benefit from this massive constellation.