“Tiangong” (“Heavenly Palace”), the Chinese space station, should be operational in 2022. Currently, China continues to deliver equipment to finish assembly. State media reported that the country just sent a cargo ship for this purpose on Saturday, May 29.
The 14-ton Long March 7 missile took off from the Wenchang launch site on the southern tropical island of Hainan With food, equipment and fuel on boardNew China News Agency reported. The agency said, citing the China Space Agency (CMSA), that the cargo ship successfully detached from the thrust and entered orbit and deployed its solar panels.
The in-orbit assembly of a future Chinese space station still required dozens of launches. After finishing, It should remain in low Earth orbit for 15 years. After the possible withdrawal from the International Space Station (ISS) after 2028, Tiangong could become the only human outpost in Earth’s orbit.
Three astronauts will join the station soon
“We will transport necessary support materials, spare parts and equipment first, then our staff,” CMSA director Hao Chun was quoted by the China New newspaper as saying. Once the cargo ship docks at the space station, China will begin preparing to send three astronauts into space.
Beijing has allocated billions of dollars to its space program To try to catch up with the pioneers, namely Russia and the United States, With ambitious plans in Earth orbit and an unmanned spacecraft landing on the Moon and Mars. But the country has come under heavy criticism from the United States and many experts A serious violation of the rules of space. In fact, earlier this month, China allowed a huge portion of the rockets to return to Earth after the central module of its space station launched.
Open China has cooperation, without details
Although the Chinese authorities confirmed that they are open to international cooperation in their station, The framework for this is still unclear. But the European Space Agency (ESA) has already sent astronauts to China for job training in Tiangong in anticipation of its completion.
Earlier this month, China successfully landed its “Zhurong” rover on Mars, becoming the third country to successfully land a vehicle on the Red Planet. The rover is expected to begin studying Mars geology soon. He is expected to spend three months taking pictures and gathering data on a vast lava plain in the northern hemisphere.