China launches Tianhe space station core module

On April 29, 2021, China launched the core module of its Space Station. This is an important milestone in the country’s ambitious plan of establishing a permanent human presence in space.

The module that was launched is called Tianhe. The Space Station China is building is called Tiangong.

Tiangong

  • Tiangong means “Heavenly Space”.
  • It is to begin its operations in 2022.
  • Still eleven more modules are to be launched and assembled to complete the space station.
  • According to the Chinese Government, the completed Space Station will look like the “Mir Station”. Mir was a Russian Space Station that orbited between 1980s and 2001.
  • The Chinese Space Station, Tiangong will orbit the earth in the low earth orbit at a height of 400 to 450 kilometres.
  • The lifespan of the space station is fifteen years.
  • It weighs more than 90 tonnes.
  • The size of Tiangong Space Station will be a quarter the size of the International Space Station.

Previous Chinese Mission

  • In 2011, Chinese launched the Tiangong – 1. It was the first prototype module that laid groundwork for the permanently crewed station.
  • In 2016, the second lab Tiangong – 2 was launched.

International Space Station

After International Space Station retires, Tiangong will be the only space station orbiting the earth.

Lunar Missions

The Chinese are also planning to build a separate lunar space station with Russia. This space station might either be placed in the orbit of the moon or on its surface.

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