Pacific-Space Tracking Ships -- Chinese ships ready for tracking manual rendezvous,docking of Shenzhou-9, Tiangong-1
CCTV BEIJING - China's space tracking vessels Yuanwang 3, 5 and 6 are ready for tracking the manual rendezvous and docking mission of spacecraft Shenzhou-9 and space lab Tiangong-1, according to the China Satellite Maritime Tracking and Control Department.
The space-tracking vessels have sailed 5,000 nautical miles, spanning the International Date Line and the equator to expand the range and improve the reliability of tracking and support mission, said a department official.
Technicians aboard these ships fly meteorological balloons and organize meteorological meetings every day to follow the weather changes, thus to ensure a reliable and smooth tracking mission.
They also have checked antennas on the ships and completed the emergency plan, said Wu Weilin, Party secretary of the China Satellite Maritime Tracking and Control, who is on the mission with the vessels.
"We used to carry out the tracking missions of Shenzhou spacecraft in the second half of the year. This is the first time for a Yuanwang tracking vessel to track a Shenzhou craft in the South Pacific in this season, as this is in winter featuring frequent cold spells and complicated maritime conditions in the southern hemisphere. We have encountered frequently adverse conditions," said Wu.
Yuanwang 5 tracked the solar panel opening and apogee orbital transfer of Shenzhou-9 on Monday when Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 completed their first rendezvous and docking.
The tracking mission will last for 13 days, Wu said.
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