Yesterday, China sent a new module to its new Tiangong space station, something we wrote about earlier here. Earlier today, the new research module was docked with the core module that was sent into Earth orbit last year.
In the clip above, you can check what it looked like when the three astronauts aboard the Tiangong space station opened the hatches between the two modules and examined the latest module.
China plans to complete the Tiangong space station with a third module scheduled for launch in October. Sometime before the end of the year, the space station is planned to be operational.
Now two of the three space station modules are in place
Yesterday, China sent the second of three units that will form the new Tiangong space station. The unit sent yesterday is called “Wentian” (“Search for Heaven”) and in it the Chinese astronauts will conduct various research experiments in the future. Wentian left Earth aboard one of China’s Long March 5B rockets, and the launch reportedly took place as planned, according to China’s CCTV channel. In October, the space station’s third module is scheduled to be connected to the two now in existence. It is called Mengtian (“Dream of the Heavens”) and is also intended to serve as a research unit. China plans to operate Tiangong at full capacity before the end of the year. The space station would then have a volume corresponding to one-fifth the size of the International Space Station. Below is a diagram of what the space station looked like before the latest unit was attached to the Tiangong station.
Will continue to complete the construction of the Tiangong space station
Yesterday, the Chinese space agency CNSA sent a new crew to the new Tiangong space station. It took the three crew members about 7 hours to reach the space station from Earth and they are supposed to stay on the space station for six months. This will be the third crew to head to the Tiangong space station, which the three crews will help continue building. In the next six months, China plans to attach two more units to Tiangong. Sometime in December, Tiangong is supposed to be finished and begin to be used for space exploration. China plans to use Tiangong for at least the next 15 years.
Chinese astronauts left Earth earlier today
Here is a short clip showing China’s Shenzhou 12 spacecraft docked with the Tianhe core module of the Tiangong Space Station. In the clip, we also see as the three astronauts Ni Haisheng, Liu Beoming, and Tang Hongbo descend into China’s new space station and learn about the environment there. Shenzhou 12 left Earth last night Swedish time and arrived at Tianhe about seven hours later. This was China’s first manned space mission in five years. The three astronauts are scheduled to be aboard Tianhe for three months before returning to Earth.
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