Time： 2021-07-07 00:00:00
At 14:57 on July 4, after about 7 hours of exiting activities, the Shenzhou 12 astronaut crew worked closely and successfully completed all the scheduled tasks during the exiting activities. Astronauts Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo returned to Tianhe Core safely. The capsule marked the complete success of the first astronaut out of the capsule in my country's space station phase. This is the second space outing activity carried out by Chinese astronauts after the manned mission of Shenzhou VII in 2008, and it is also the first space outing activity of Chinese astronauts during the space station stage.
"Going out" of the spacecraft to carry out activities in the vast outer space has the characteristics of high risk and high difficulty. These "sharp weapons" are indispensable for assisting the "Shen XII" astronauts to successfully complete the exit mission.
A new generation of extravehicular space suits-longer use time, higher safety and reliability, and better maneuverability
According to Zhang Wanxin, director of the Spacesuit Engineering Research Office of the China Astronaut Center and deputy chief designer of the astronaut system for manned space engineering, the outer suit refers to the personal protection worn by astronauts when leaving the mother ship and entering outer space or other planets. Equipment, according to the use environment, is divided into orbital outboard outerwear and interplanetary outerwear. Outboard suits provide astronauts with safe and effective environmental protection, environmental control and life support in confined spaces, and are equivalent to a small aircraft. However, compared with general aircraft, extravehicular suits also need to ensure that astronauts can complete extravehicular activities while wearing the suits. This is its most distinctive and important function.
The space station astronaut’s exit activity belongs to the orbital exit activity. It faces a space environment with an orbital altitude of 300-450 kilometers. Flowing dust/debris and space radiation. In order to ensure that astronauts can maintain normal life activities and out-of-vehicle operations in such an environment, out-of-vehicle suits need to have five basic functions: environmental protection, life protection, ergonomics protection, communication protection, and safety protection.
Zhang Wanxin said that the space station outerwear currently under development in my country belongs to the orbital basic outerwear, that is, the outerwear will not return to the ground after being transported into orbit. During the life cycle, through on-orbit maintenance and repair, it is guaranteed to be in good condition and exiting the cabin. Activity task. The fitness adopts a one-to-many approach, that is, after adjusting the size of an outer suit, it can satisfy all astronauts to wear fit, which greatly reduces the weight of the uplink load and the space occupied by the space station.
In response to the needs of space station missions, the outer suit worn by the astronauts of the "Shen 12" mission has undergone important improvements in three aspects based on the development of the "Shen VII" mission: one is to change the structural layout design, and the other is It improves the life span of clothing, and the third is to improve the ability of people to serve. Compared with the first generation, it has the characteristics of longer use time, higher safety and reliability, better maneuverability, and stronger test and maintainability.
Core module manipulator-"Hercules" in the space station mission
During the exit of the "Shen XII" astronauts, the large-scale transfer capability of the space station's robotic arm was verified, and another important task of the construction of my country's space station was completed.
The manipulator of the core module of the space station was developed by the Fifth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. It is currently the most complex, largest and most precise space intelligent mechanical system among similar aerospace products. It is mainly responsible for the transposition of the cabin section and the astronaut out of the cabin. , Eight categories of on-orbit tasks, including cargo handling outside the cabin, state inspection outside the cabin, and maintenance of large-scale equipment outside the cabin. The unfolded length of the robotic arm of the core compartment is 10.2 meters and can carry a weight of up to 25 tons. It can be called the "Hercules" in the mission of the space station.
According to reports, the core module manipulator of the space station is my country’s first manipulator that can orbit in space for a long time. It has 3 joints on the shoulder, 1 joint on the elbow, and 3 joints on the wrist, for a total of 7 Joints, each joint corresponds to a degree of freedom, just like a human arm, with seven degrees of freedom. Through the rotation of each joint, it can grasp and operate at any angle and position of its own front, back, left, and right, which provides a strong guarantee for the astronauts to successfully carry out the mission.
In order to expand the reach of the mission, the robotic arm of the space station's core module also has a "crawling" function. Since the core compartment manipulator adopts the joint configuration scheme of "shoulder 3 elbow 1 wrist 3", the shoulder and wrist joint configurations are the same, which means that the movement functions of the two ends of the manipulator are the same. At the same time, an end effector is installed on the shoulder and the wrist. As the tentacles of the robotic arm, the end effector can be docked with the target adapter mounted on the surface of the cabin. The robotic arm is docked and separated from the target adapter through the end effector, and cooperates with the joint movement of each joint to realize the crawl transfer on the cabin.
The space station manipulator is one of the new areas in the development of my country's aerospace industry. The Fifth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation has made great breakthroughs and innovations in key technologies, raw material selection, manufacturing technology, and long-life design adapted to the space station environment. With the efforts of the development team, my country has successfully mastered the core technology of large-scale space manipulators and successfully applied them. All core components have been localized, and a number of national space robot industry standards have been formed.
Extravehicular maintenance and auxiliary tools-astronauts’ "mechanical partners" for exit missions
In the first extravehicular activity of my country's space station, as a "mechanical partner" for astronauts to carry out the mission, extravehicular maintenance and auxiliary tools were also successfully unveiled for the first time.
The extravehicular maintenance and auxiliary tools are developed by the Fifth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, which can help astronauts effectively overcome the inconvenience of operation after the glove is pressurized when the space suit is in orbit. Advanced problems, with many functions such as assisting astronauts to carry out extravehicular walking, posture conversion, equipment replacement, product safety protection and so on in the orbiting space suit state. It is an indispensable tool for astronauts to perform extravehicular activities.
In order to ensure that the health of the extravehicular maintenance and auxiliary tools is in good condition, and meet the requirements of the first exit mission, the astronauts have carried out various tasks such as the health status inspection of the maintenance tools and the setting of the use status in the cabin before the first exit. Meet the needs of out-of-cabin applications.
As the "No. 1 player" of the space station maintenance tool products, the extravehicular power tool is the only electromechanical tool used in this maintenance task, which can adapt to the complex vacuum and high and low temperature environment outside the cabin. The extravehicular general handle can be installed on the maintenance equipment for the transfer of the equipment to be repaired and anti-drifting when the astronaut is in orbit maintenance. By cooperating with the universal handle base on the equipment end, the astronaut can quickly lock and unlock the equipment with one hand. .
Extravehicular maintenance and auxiliary tools include not only extravehicular power tools, extravehicle wrenches, universal handles and other tools for the maintenance of extravehicular equipment, but also various portable foot stoppers and out-of-vehicle operations that can be used to stabilize and convert the astronaut's extravehicular attitude Table and other auxiliary tools. Portable safety belts assist astronauts to prevent drifting of equipment and maintenance tools for extravehicular operations; the miniature workbench directly connected to the space suit wraps around the waist of the space suit like a multifunctional belt, which is used by the astronauts out of the cabin. Extravehicular power tools, extravehicular general handles and extravehicular wrenches are carried with them to ensure that the astronauts can take them with them.
The successful implementation of the astronaut's exit mission fully verified the reliability of the on-orbit application of extravehicular maintenance and auxiliary tools.
Space communication "sky road", network "hot spot"-escort out of the cabin activities
Out-of-vehicle activity is a general term for astronauts wearing extravehicular spacesuits to perform space walks and operations outside the spacecraft. In the space station mission, the astronauts will carry out multiple exit activities to complete the repair, maintenance and construction of the space station. It is particularly important to establish high-speed and timely communication with the ground during exiting activities. The exiting activities are not only an all-round test for astronauts, but also a major test for the communication capabilities between the space station's sky and core modules and the ground monitoring and control station.
According to reports, the third-generation relay terminal product developed by the Fifth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation establishes a relay link with the relay satellites Tianlian-1 and Tianlian-2 to realize relay communication and ensure the communication between astronauts and the ground. The real-time smooth flow. This is like building a "skyway" between the ground and the relay satellite, and between the relay satellite and the astronauts in space.
The biggest difference in design between the space station relay terminal and other models is that in order to ensure a long service life in orbit, it needs to be maintainable in orbit. The relay terminal of the space station adopts an integrated and modular design idea, which is convenient for astronauts to repair and replace while ensuring the quality of the transmission signal.
In addition, the out-of-vehicle communication subsystem developed by the Fifth Academy of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation realizes full-duplex voice communication between inside and outside astronauts, between inside and outside astronauts and ground personnel, and between outside astronauts. Full coverage of wireless communication is achieved within the range of extravehicular activities, and it supports the call function of multiple astronauts when they are out of the capsule at the same time.
The outside image transmission subsystem provides wireless network coverage for the outside of the cabin, and transmits images through the network "hotspots" provided by the out-of-vehicle wireless transceiver equipment to realize the real-time display of the astronauts' out-of-vehicle activities.