China to Launch World’s First X-Ray Pulsar Navigation Spaceship by This Month (Download PDF)

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China plans to launch an X-ray pulsar navigation satellite ‘XPNAV-1’ in November to test autonomous spacecraft navigation- world’s first X-ray pulsar navigation satellite.This will be a revolutionary step towards a more digitalized future of space research driving research in self-governing spacecraft, map-reading and making accurate deep-space GPS closer to reality.

Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) Fifth Academy is tasked to develop the satellite XPNAV-1.

China to Launch Worlds First X-Ray Pulsar Navigation Spaceship

China to Launch Worlds First X-Ray Pulsar Navigation Spaceship

China to Launch World’s First X-Ray Pulsar Navigation Spaceship

Navigation Tool in Brief

  • X-ray pulsar is a navigation tool in which periodic X-ray signals emitted from pulsars determine the location of a spacecraft in deep space.
  • The highly energetic and regular pulses of photons allow a miniature sensitive to be used on spacecraft.
  • X-ray pulsars consist of a magnetized neutron star in course with a standard stellar escort.
  • Satellite mission will test the detectors’ functions with the background noise of the universe under non-ideal real conditions.
  • These navigation techniques reduce the reliance of spacecraft on ground-based navigation methods- expected to achieve autonomous spacecraft navigation in the future.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 11, 2016

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