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China successfully launches lab to Tiangong space station
by Darryl Coote
Washington DC (UPI) Jul 25, 2021

China has successfully launched a laboratory to its space station orbiting Earth, the Asian nation's space agency said.

The 23-ton Wentian lab module was launched aboard the Long March 5B rocket from China's Wenchang Space Launch Site in Hainan Province at 2:22 p.m. Sunday and docked to the core module of the Tiangong Space Station early Monday, the China Manned Space Agency said.

The Shenzhou-14 crew, who have been in the core module since June, then entered the lab for the first time at 10:03 a.m. Monday.

The launch and rendezvous marks the 24th mission of China's manned space program.

Along with research facilities, the lab module consists of living quarters and can be used to control the core module in an emergency, the space agency said.

A second laboratory module called Mengtian, which is the space station's final component, is to launch in October, according to CGTN.

When completed, the station will create a T-shaped structure consisting of the two laboratories, Wentain and Mengtian, and the Tianhe core module in the center.

While Wentain is to be dedicated to life science research, Mengtian is for microgravity science, the state-run news organization said.

The Shenzhou-14 crew of Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe have been living in the Tianhe core module since docking with it in early June. They are scheduled to return to Earth in December following their six-month construction mission.

Once the space station is complete, China expects it to be fully crewed and operational by December and last for 15 years with two crewed and two cargo missions launched to the station annually.

Related Links
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com

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China's space station expanding nation technology base
Beijing (XNA) Jul 25, 2022
The Wentian space lab will help to greatly advance scientific research and the development of technology in China, providing a unique platform for experiments that are difficult or impossible to be done on Earth, a senior scientist said. Zhang Wei, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilization, said on Sunday in Wenchang, Hainan province, that although there are so many laboratories on the ground, a permanent space station has advantages. ... read more

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