China launches the core module of its space station
Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – International Relations & GS-III – Sci & tech
- China launched the core module of its space station, starting a series of key launch missions that aim to complete the construction of the station by the end of next year
- The Long March-5B Y2 rocket, carrying the Tianhe module, blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan.
- The Tianhe module will act as the management and control hub of the space station Tiangong, (meaning Heavenly Palace), with a node that could dock with up to three spacecraft at a time for short stays, or two for long
- Tianhe is the largest spacecraft developed by China.
- The space station will be a T shape with the core module at the centre and a lab capsule on each side.
- The station will operate in the low-Earth orbit at an altitude from 340 km to 450 km.
- It has a designed lifespan of 10 years, but experts believe it could last more than 15 years with appropriate maintenance and repairs.
Do you know?
- The Chinese space station is expected to be a competitor to the aging International Space Station (ISS) which is a modular space station in low Earth orbit.
- ISS is a multinational collaborative project involving five participating space agencies which included NASA, (US), Roscomos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada).