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China's newest research lab prepares launch to space
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Jul 20, 2022

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China's Wentian space laboratory and its carrier-a Long March 5B rocket-were moved to a service tower on Monday morning to undergo final tests before their planned flight in the coming days, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The agency said in a brief statement that prelaunch preparations will begin at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the southernmost island province of Hainan. No other details were provided.

The agency also unveiled the mission's logo on Monday.

Wentian, or "Quest for the Heavens", will be the Tiangong space station's first lab component. The craft weighs more than 20 metric tons and is about six stories tall.

It consists of three major parts-a crew work compartment, an unpressurized cargo module and a control module.

Scientific cabinets inside the Wentian lab will mainly be used to perform biological and life science tasks and will support research on the growth, aging and genetic traits of plants, animals and microbes in space, said Lin Xiqiang, deputy head of the China Manned Space Agency.

To prepare for Wentian's arrival, the Tianzhou 3 cargo spacecraft detached from Tiangong on Sunday morning so its docking hatch can receive the lab. Tianzhou, which was launched in September 2021 and had remained connected to Tiangong since, will be guided back to Earth by ground controllers.

Currently, Tiangong consists of the Tianhe core module, the Tianzhou 4 and the Shenzhou XIV spacecraft. Its current occupants-three astronauts who are part of the Shenzhou XIV mission-arrived in the station in mid-June and are scheduled to remain at the station until year's end.

A second lab named Mengtian, or "Dreaming of the Heavens", will be sent in October.

After both labs are connected with the Tiangong, the station will form a T-shaped structure, and astronauts will have as much as 110 cubic meters in their usable space.

After the labs, the Tianzhou 5 cargo craft and the Shenzhou XV crew are scheduled to arrive at the massive orbiting outpost around the end of the year.

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

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Third Tianlian II-series satellite launched
Beijing (XNA) Jul 13, 2022
China launched a Tianlian II-series satellite early on Wednesday morning to form a global network of the country's second-generation relay satellites. A Long March 3B carrier rocket blasted off at 12:29 am from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwestern China's Sichuan province and then placed the Tianlian II-03 satellite into a geostationary orbit, according to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, the country's leading space contractor. The State-owned conglomerate said in ... read more

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