Space & Astronomy
China mulls 'ultra-large spacecraft' proposal
By T.K. Randall
August 26, 2021 · 8 comments
The proposal seems way too ambitious to be plausible. Image Credit: NASA / Mark Rademaker
China's space agency is considering the construction of a huge spaceship several kilometers in length.
It's certainly no secret that China's space program has been going from strength to strength in recent years. Having previously launched two manned outposts into orbit, it is now working on the Tiangong space station - which will be around the size of the decommissioned Russian Mir space station - to provide a long-term outpost in Earth's orbit for the conducting of scientific experiments.
China's ambitions however don't end there - the country's National Natural Science Foundation is currently working on proposals for the construction of what has been described as an "ultra-large spacecraft" that would measure several miles in length.
The impractically enormous ship would be built over the course of several years by launching individual components into orbit and putting them together in space.
There would also be a particular emphasis on keeping the weight (and costs) down.
"[Such a spacecraft] is a major strategic aerospace equipment for the future use of space resources, exploration of the mysteries of the universe and staying in long-term orbit," the project outline reads.
The ambitious project is one of several proposals currently being considered, however it is unclear whether or not the powers that be will actually decide to pursue it.
Given the sheer scale of such a project and the questionable practical applications, it seems unlikely that China would actually go ahead with such a plan - at least for the time being.
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