For the past years, space has not only become the battlefield of few countries, such as the US and Russia. Other countries have joined the race also like China, India, Japan, UAE, and many more.
China, in particular, is making its moves towards improving its technology to better study the universe. They have launched rockets and sent probes to Mars.
Now, they are planning to send a space telescope that is comparable to the Hubble Space Telescope, which was launched in the low-Earth orbit in 1990. They plan to launch the said telescope in 2024 that will co-orbit with their space station.
China's Space Telescope: Xuntian
China prepares to send a large space telescope named the Chinese Space Station Telescope (CSST) or Xuntian, which literally translates as "survey to heavens."
It has an impressive size with a diameter lens that measures 6.6 feet (2 meters), making it comparable to the Hubble Space Telescope.
Moreover, Xuntian boasts a 300 times greater field of view than the 31-year-old space telescope while also retaining a similar resolution. That means the wide field of view will allow the Asian country to observe 40% of the sky for more than ten years using a large 2.5 billion pixel camera, Health Thorough Fare reported under their Science category.
China's human spaceflight program chief engineer Zhou Jianping told China Central Television in March that Xuntian will be set up in an optical module that will independently fly in orbit to assist space probe.
"Meanwhile, we will make it fly approximately in common orbit with the future space station. This will help us refuel the telescope and carry out in-orbit upgrade[s] for it, so as to always keep it on the level of an international frontier," he added.
This is better than repairing the Hubble, which requires several missions to repair, upgrade and replace the telescope's components.
Xinhua Net reported that four astronomy research facilities on the ground are being built across the Asian country to analyze the data that will be sent back by the space telescope.
According to a 2019 paper from members of the National Astronomical Observatories (NAOC) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xuntian's mission includes observing near UV and visible light, as well as investigating the properties of dark matter and dark energy, the cosmos, and galaxy formation, and evolution.
Space.com reported that Xuntian would also be expected to detect and survey trans-Neptunian objects and near-Earth asteroids.
Moreover, Chinese astronauts are undergoing intense training for future crewed missions that will construct the Chinese space station. The country aims to have 11 launches between 2021 and 2022, including four crewed missions for the construction phase.
Tianhe's core medium, which means "Harmony of the Heavens," is scheduled to be launched this month based on the Long March 5 preparations.
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