China begins assembly of Long March 5B heavy-lift to launch core space station capsule
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Feb 23, 2021
The Long March 5B heavy-lift carrier rocket tasked with launching the core capsule of China's Space station arrived at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province on Monday, the China Manned Space Agency said.
The rocket will now be assembled and then undergo ground tests with the capsule at the coastal launch complex, the agency said in a brief statement, without elaborating.
According to information previously published by the agency, the mission is scheduled to take place in coming months.
The capsule, named Tianhe, or Harmony of Heavens, will be 16.6 meters long and have a diameter of 4.2 meters. It will be central to the space station's operations, given that astronauts will live there and control the entire station from inside. The module will also be capable of hosting scientific experiments.
The capsule will have three parts - a life-support and control section, a resources section, and a connecting section.
China's most sophisticated space endeavor, the multimodule space station, named Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace, will have three main components - a core capsule attached to two space laboratories - with a combined weight of more than 90 metric tons.
The station is expected to become fully operational next year and is set to operate for about 15 years, program planners have said.
After the core capsule is launched, astronauts on the Shenzhou XII and XIII missions and two cargo ships will be launched within a few months to prepare the module for docking with other parts of the station.
Tiangong's two space labs will then be launched in separate Long March 5B missions and two more manned missions and two robotic cargo flights will be made to continue construction of the station.
Source: Xinhua News Agency
Chinese tracking vessel sets sail for monitoring missions in Indian Ocean
Nanjing, China (XNA) Feb 12, 2021
China's tracking vessel Yuanwang-6 on Wednesday departed from a port in east China's Jiangsu Province for maritime spacecraft monitoring missions in the Indian Ocean. The Yuanwang fleet will continue to carry out intensive and challenging maritime missions this year, and Yuanwang-6 alone will operate at sea for over 200 days, according to sources with the country's satellite maritime tracking and controlling authorities. Before the voyage, staff members completed vessel maintenance, examined ... read more
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