China has proposed to build a multi-kilometer space station in a long-term orbit around the Earth. It is planned to spend 15 million yuan ($2.3 million) to study the feasibility of such a project. This is reported by the South China Morning Post.
The National Foundation of Natural Sciences of China has called on scientists to join a five-year project to study the mechanics of an “ultra-large spacecraft extending for several kilometers.” According to the project plan published by the foundation, the giant orbital station will play a key role for the future use of space resources, exploration of the Universe, and staying in a long-term orbit.
The multi-kilometer station was one of 10 projects proposed by the Department of Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the foundation, which will eventually finance five projects. It is assumed that the station will consist of modules, while the researchers will be tasked with calculating the minimum weight of the ship to reduce the number of launches and construction costs. They must also guarantee the controllability of the structures to limit displacement, deformation, and vibration during the assembly process.