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China launches the core module of its space station

  • IASbaba
  • April 30, 2021
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China launches the core module of its space station

Part of: GS Prelims and GS – II – International Relations & GS-III – Sci & tech 

In news

  • 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

Key takeaways 

  • 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).

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