The new Wall Street Journal video China's Answer to the Aging International Space Station: The Tech Behind Tiangong | WSJ emphasizes after
03:26 that Tiangong's orbit-boosting propulsion system is more efficient and powerful than the ISS', and while it "still uses regular fuel propellants like the international space station", even though it's "not using a liquid or solid propellant".
This confuses me, so I thought I would ask:
Question: What orbit-raising propulsion system with Tiangong use, and how does it differ from that of the ISS in terms of performance and technology?
And one of them is a system that helps power Tiangong with solar panels.
“Our energy system can convert more than 30% [of the solar power] which is much higher than what we previously saw in other space stations.”
The electricity generated from the panel wings essentially helps keep the lights on.
But one unique part about China’s setup is that it also powers the spacecraft’s propulsion technology. So even though Tiangong still uses regular fuel propellants like the international space station, China says it doesn’t have to use as much to stay afloat in orbit.
If you’re not using a liquid or solid propellant for your propulsion, then you’re not carrying that weight, then that’s a saving.
China Space Agency says its propulsion system is about five times more efficient and powerful than the International Space Station’s, which is a gas guzzler. Consuming about nine tons of fuel annually to stay in orbit.