CHINA TOPIX

Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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China Continues Space Advancement With ‘Eye’ Guidance System

Space Station

(Photo : Getty Images/Handout) China is planning on realizing its goal of becoming one of the space powers in the world.

China is continuing its streak of big plans for its ambitious move of becoming one of the space powers, alongside NASA and SpaceX. This week, Chinese scientists have revealed that they have finally finalized its outer space technology that lets vessels dock safely and easily on bigger spacecraft in space.

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According to Reuters, in hopes of creating a docking system that is efficient and safer, Chinese scientists formulated the "eye" guidance system. This technology is so advanced, spacecraft traveling faster than bullets by up to eight times can still dock safely on a vessel in outer space.

The "eye" will be used by China for its second orbiting outer space lab, called the Tiangong 2. It is also expected to be of good use when China finally launches a permanently manned space station in space.

Speaking of the new guidance system, designer Gong Dezhu of Xinhua said, "Good 'eyesight' is crucial for one spacecraft chasing another for hundreds of thousands of kilometers to achieve a perfect rendezvous and docking - it's like threading the needle," China Daily reports.

The announcement of the "eye" guidance system comes after President Xi Jinping has said that China should now establish itself as one of the advanced forces exploring the universe.

The timing of this advancement couldn't have been any better since China is planning on launching the Tinangong 2 in 2016. The Asian giant is also planning on sending the Change'5 lunar probe to the moon to collect samples and return to the living planet in 2017.

Explaining the importance of the "eye" guidance system, Gong said, "The last 150 meters between the two spacecraft is the most critical moment. A slight deviation during docking might lead to a disaster like the one caused by Mann, the main antagonist in the movie Interstellar."

The main difference between the "eye" guidance system and the CCD optical imaging sensor found in China's first docking vessel, the Tiangong 1,  is the fact that the former enables vessels to see clearer under direct sunlight, XinhuaNet has learned.

Aside from this, the "eye" guidance system also has other perks since it can be used by astronauts while either refueling in space or repairing spacecraft. 

Experts also believe the new technology would be very useful for underwater vehicles.

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