Updated 8:47 AM EST, Fri, Mar 05, 2021

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China Successfully Refuels an Orbital Satellite

China successfully refueled one of its orbital satellites in space.

(Photo : Getty Images) China successfully refueled one of its satellites in orbit in space.

China has successfully completed its first in-space refuel of orbital satellites, the National University of Defend Technology announced last week.

Tianyuan-1, which is developed by the National University of Defend Technology, is China's first in-space refueling system for satellites in orbit. The unit, which was launched on June 23, was aboard the Long March-7 carrier rocket.

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Although the university did not provide details of the process, it said that refueling orbital satellites is just similar to refueling a plane in a microgravity environment. China's new technology will prolong the functional life of satellites and enhance its maneuver capabilities.

Meanwhile, after the launch, a number of core independent processes were tested and verified. Furthermore, some useful data and video recordings of the entire process was sent back to earth.

"The injection process was stable, and measurement and control were precise," the statement read. In addition, it also said that tests proved that Tianyuan-1 has successfully met the design requirements.

China is one of the first countries to use this technology. Refueling satellites in space will save resources as the number of vehicles needed to be deployed to do technical adjustments or maintain the satellite in space will be less. Furthermore, it will also slow down the proliferation of dead satellites in space and lessen debris or space junk in the orbit.

Although the ultimate target is to completely ditch fuel, China's dependence on its refueling efforts is likely to be increased thanks to this new technology.

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