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China announces success in technology to refuel satellites in orbit
China has successfully completed the in-space refuel of orbital satellites following last week's launch of a new generation carrier rocket, the National University of Defense Technology announced on Thursday.
Similar to air refueling for planes, the process refuels a satellite in orbit in a microgravity environment and will extend a satellite's functional life and boost its maneuver capabilities considerably.
Developed by the university, Tianyuan-1 is the country's first in-space refueling system for orbital satellites. It was launched into orbit aboard the Long March-7 carrier rocket on Saturday.
A series of core independent processes were tested and verified after the launch, with data and videos recording the full process sent back to earth, the university said in a statement.
"The injection process was stable, and measurement and control were precise," it said, adding that the test proved that Tianyuan-1 met design requirements.
Though an area of great interest, the process is complicated and only a few countries have began experiments.
[Source: Xinhua, Changsha, 30Jun16]
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