China launched the core module of its third crewed space station into space on Thursday, the 29th of April on its Long March 5B heavy-lift rocket at coastal Wenchang spaceport in China.
China, who is not one of the four nations running the International Space Station (ISS) started construction works on the ‘Tianhe’ or ‘Heavenly Harmony’ in January 2021. It has launched modules in the past like the Tiangong-1 station in 2011 which it reported that it lost its control in 2016 and the Tiangong-2 launched in 2016 but was decommissioned as promised in 2019.
The launched 22-metric ton core module houses ‘the station’s control centre, power, propulsion and life-support systems’ according to an Independent News Report and could also house at most three astronauts. It will be powered by two steerable solar power arrays through which electricity could be stored for use when it’s moving in the shadows.
The station is expected to be completed in 2023 after several componential modules to carry out astronomy, space medicine, biotechnology, microgravity fluid physics and space technologies science works are also launched up to be joined together to it. This whole process would take about eleven launch missions and is expected to stay in orbit for at least 10 years.
The Long March 5B rocket in which the module launched Is expected to be back on earth by Monday, 10th of May, in an uncontrolled re-entry of which the exact landing area isn’t known and poses a risk of falling on an active land space.
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