China plans to build a new space station

The space station, about a third the size of the ISS space program, is scheduled to be completed by 2022.

The new space station is T-shaped, including a core module in the center and laboratory modules on either side, providing about 160m 3 of internal space.

Picture 1 of China plans to build a new space station
Two Chinese astronauts on Thien Cung 2 station on October 19, 2016.(Photo: Space).

During the first mission scheduled to launch in April, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) will use the Changzhun 5B rocket to deliver a "test version" of the new spacecraft - designed to be able to carrying a crew of 6 - up to orbit. The launch is only experimental, not carrying people or any pieces of the future space station.

Unlike the previous two space stations of China (Thien Cung 1 and 2) , it is necessary to provide domestic water from the Earth, the new station can create its own clean water by collecting urine and steam in the breath of astronauts to filter and recycle. The station is also equipped with additional equipment to produce additional oxygen in the module, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Once operational, China's next-generation space station will provide testing and research environments for many fields, from astronomy, basic physics to life sciences. It is also planned to make space observations through an optical telescope placed inside an orbiting spacecraft.

China's first space station, Thien Cung 1 , was launched in 2011 to serve as a basis for future trials of larger-sized space stations. It was originally planned to be dismantled in 2013 but lost control and eventually burned in the Earth's atmosphere seven years later.

The launch of the Thien Cung 2 successor station in 2016 has helped China achieve many important achievements, including twice welcoming its crew in October and November 2016. However, the station is not designed to operate permanently in orbit. It crashed back to Earth and crashed into the South Pacific on July 19, 2019.

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