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China Successfully Launches Retrievable Satellite
Apr 14, 2016

To help scientists on Earth in studying microgravity and space life sciences, China sent a retrievable scientific research satellite into space on April 6. Named SJ-10, the satellite was launched from a spacecraft at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in north-western China's Gobi Desert.

  • The mission hopes to carry out experiments in the field of microgravity fluid physics, microgravity combustion, space material, space radiation effects, microgravity biological effects and space bio-technology.

  • While in space, the bullet-shaped probe will house 19 experiments involving microgravity fluid physics, microgravity combustion, space material, space radiation effect, microgravity biological effect and space bio-technology, before coming back to Earth with results.

  • The experiments investigate how radiation affects genetics and are being conducted to try and make space travel safer in the future.

  • Mouse embryos will also be observed to see how they develop, as they may give scientists clues about whether it would be possible for humans or animals to reproduce in space.

  • All experiments conducted on SJ-10 are completely new ones that have never been done before either at home or abroad.

  • Overall, eight of the experiments on fluid physics and microgravity combustion will be carried out in the orbital module and the others in the re-entry capsule which is expected to land at Siziwang Banner in Inner Mongolia.

  • SJ-10 is the second of four scientific satellites under a CAS space program. Unlike the others, SJ-10 is returnable.

  • It is the 25th such retrievable satellite launched by China in the past decades.

Chief scientist of SJ-10 and a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said, “The recoverable satellite is a useful and efficient tool for microgravity experiments, compared to space stations and research rockets.”

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