China claims its Space Station has achieved 100% oxygen regeneration in orbit

The system reduces reliance on supplies from the ground "by six tonnes every year," claims a Chinese official.
Baba Tamim
Stock photo: An illustration of Chinese Tiangong Space Station.
Stock photo: An illustration of Chinese Tiangong Space Station.


China's Space Station has allegedly achieved 100% regeneration of its oxygen supply using its onboard oxygen regeneration system. 

The Space Station, which is currently operated by the Shenzhou-15 crew, can produce all of its own oxygen, according to an official speaking at a space technology symposium in Harbin City on Friday. 

"At present, the six systems are in stable operation, with 100 percent of the oxygen resources regenerated and 95 percent of the water resources recycled," said Bian Qiang, director of the environmental control and life-support engineering office under the Astronaut Center of China. 

"This reduces the amount of supplies from the ground by six tonnes every year," added Bian.

The revelation marks a significant advancement in China's manned spacecraft's environmental control and life-support systems, moving from "replenishment" to "regeneration." 

The system has six subsystems for various operations, such as the creation of oxygen, the removal of carbon dioxide, and the creation of water from carbon dioxide and hydrogen.

China's Tiangong Space Station advances 

Bian claims that the system's technology is among the greatest in the world, and as a result, the requirement for ground supplies is reduced by six tonnes annually.

For China's manned spacecraft, including the Shenzhou spacecraft, extra-vehicular spacesuits, and the three-module space station complex, experts have successfully created three generations of environmental control and life-support systems, according to Bian.

The meeting received a video greeting from the Shenzhou-15 crew, which is presently in Earth orbit, reported CGTN, China's state-affiliated media. 

In addition to reflecting on the advancements in environmental control and life support technologies since the Shenzhou-6 mission 17 years ago, Commander Fei Junlong highlighted his satisfaction at having worked and lived in space for more than 100 days.

Earlier, China revealed plans to add a new orbital module to its Tiangong Space Station. This module will connect to the three others that are already in low Earth orbit, transforming the T-shaped space station into a cross.

According to reports, the new multipurpose module features six docking ports, allowing it to connect more spacecraft. China's plans to send space visitors to its space station may be aided by the extension.

In October of last year, China launched the third and last module of its Tiangong Space Station into low Earth orbit. 

However, China's unchecked rocket reentries after the launch of each module have raised concerns in the rival West. 

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