Mar 06, 2019 09:16 AM EST
China recently launched its first mission to build its own orbital space station. According to The South China Morning Post, a leading HongKong newspaper, China is currently training its astronauts and implementing the first stages of launching site.
News about the new space station from China has been hinted to be released in the latter part of the year. It will be done through a commercial-grade rocket that is specially designed to be more affordable than its competitor, SpaceX.
Xinhua News Agency, the official state-run press agency of China, reported on early March 4th that the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) will be sending its core module and plan to the Wenchang Space Launch Center. The goal is to send Chinese astronauts in space in the second half of this year for space explorations and the like. The China Space Station (CSS) is expected to make a launch early of 2020.
According to the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALVT), they are currently testing the Long March-5B heavy-lift rocket, the newest rocket developed by Chinese Engineers. The research study aims at making the launch of the CSS not later than the end of 2019.
In 2016, China's Tiangong-2 space lab was launched and it is set to be brought back to earth and deorbited this year. Although the CSS is designed to last for over a period of ten years to complete a study, the launch of the new Space Station requires it to be brought back sooner than planned.
The Long March-5B is a variant of the Long March 5, which was launched in March of 2017 but eventually has come to a failure. This design model is China's most powerful yet. In fact, it is part of the "Dragon Series" of rockets according to the CALVT. It has said to be taken its maiden flight in the first half of the year and that the likelihood of its second and third flight to happen before the year ends.
CSS, though it is smaller compared to the International Space Station (ISS), will have a main cabin and two laboratory modules. While 6 astronauts normally live in the ISS, only three people will be manning the CSS. The Chinese government aims to complete the space station by 2022.
Although details about the space station remain scarce, this news has given the world an idea of what China may be up to. Its leaders are investing in establishing the country's capability to explore space and provide a rather affordable alternative to space studies. This news may not shock the world, but it can shake stability where most space studies are currently invested in.
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