China launches on Sunday the second of three components necessary to complete its space station, the state media reported. This is the latest development in Beijing’s space program.
The uncrewed craft, christened Wentian was launched by an long March rocket that launched at 2:22 pm (0622 GMT) from the Wenchang launch center on China’s tropical island Hainan.
Just a one-quarter of an hour after the launch An representative from China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) confirmed the “success” of the launch.
Many people gathered on nearby beaches to snap photos of the launcher as it soared through the air , revealing the form of white smoke. After approximately an hour of flyingtime “the Wentian lab module successfully was separated of the launcher and went into its desired orbit which made the launch an absolute success,” the CMSA said.
Beijing began the launch of an important space station’s main module Tiangong (which translates to “heavenly palace” in April 2021.
Nearly 18 meters long and weighing 22 tons, the latest module comes with three sleeping areas as well as the space to conduct scientific experiments.
It will join the spacecraft’s existing one the space station, an procedure that experts say will require numerous precise movements as well as the robot arm.
“This marks the very first time that China has docked so many vehicles, and it’s an extremely delicate process,” said Jonathan McDowell who is an astronomer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.
He explained that, as long as the new module is launched the space station is expected to be in an “rather peculiar L-shaped design” which will require lots of power to remain the station in good shape.
“These is all technically problems that the USSR established through their Mir station during the late 1980s however, it’s a new concept for China,” he said. “But it will lead to an improved station equipped with capability and space to run more scientific experiments.”
Wentian can also be used to act as an emergency platform in order to monitor it in case in the event of a malfunction. Third and last module set to launch in October along with Tiangong is expected to be operational by the end of October. Tiangong is expected to be able to last minimum 10 yearsis scheduled to be fully operational at the time the year’s end.
Space plan that is fast-paced
under Chinese the leadership of President Xi Jinping, the country’s plans to promote its “space dream” are now in hyperdrive. China has made huge strides in catching up to the United States and Russia, where astronauts and cosmonauts have years of space exploration experience.
“The CSS (Chinese Space Station) will be completed… within one and a half years, which is the fastest time in history for any space station that is modular,” said Chen Lan an analyst on the website Go-Taikonauts.com that specializes in China’s space program. “In contrast, the construction for Mir and also the International Space Station took 10 and 12 years, respectively.”
China’s space program has successfully launched the spacecraft to Mars and has sent satellites on the Moon. Alongside the launch of a space station Beijing plans to establish an artificial base in the Moon and then send people to the Moon by 2030.
China is not part of China’s participation in the International Space Station since 2011 in the year that it was announced that the United States banned NASA from cooperating with China.
Although China is not planning to utilize its space station to facilitate global cooperation like that similar to that of ISS, Beijing has said it is open to collaboration with foreign partners.