Module Launch Brings China Nearer To Area Station Purpose

Module Launch Brings China Nearer To Area Station Purpose

China has launched the second of the three major modules that may make up its deliberate area station, bringing Beijing a step nearer to assembly the bold purpose of getting the orbiting outpost absolutely operational by the top of the 12 months.

The 23-tonne laboratory module – referred to as Wentian, which implies “quest for the heavens” – was carried into area by China’s strongest rocket, the Long March 5B, following a 2:22pm (6:22 GMT) launch aired stay on the state broadcaster CCTV on Sunday.

The rocket took off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center on the southern island of Hainan, with CCTV reporting 30 minutes later that the launch was “a complete success”.

The lift-off comes after Beijing despatched into orbit the primary module of its area station in April 2021.

The new module, about 18 metres (60 toes) lengthy, will nonetheless must dock with the module already in area.

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If that’s profitable, the third and remaining module is scheduled to launch in October, with officers hoping the area station – named Tiangong, which implies “heavenly palace” – shall be operational by the top of the 12 months.

China’s plans for its closely promoted “space dream”, which seeks to meet up with the United States and Russia, have been put into overdrive underneath President Xi Jinping.

The area station’s completion is about to coincide with the Chinese chief marking 10 years in energy.

China has been excluded from the International Space Station since 2011, when the US banned NASA, one among 5 area companies taking part within the undertaking, from participating with the nation.

Chinese Astronauts
Chinese taikonauts Cai Xuzhe, Chen Dong and Liu Yang pose throughout a ceremony previous to a mission to work on the development of China’s area station [File: China Out/AFP]

Still, China’s area programme has made strides lately, sending probes to the moon, the place Beijing plans to construct a base, and final 12 months touchdown a rover on Mars.

The module launched on Sunday has three sleeping areas, in addition to an area for scientific experiments. It will function the principle exit-entry level for extravehicular actions when the station is accomplished.

The launch was unmanned, though three Chinese taikonauts are at present on board the already orbiting portion of the area station.

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