‘Tianhe’ will be China’s space station: about to launch the first module, they hope to have it operational in 2022
During the last decades China, little by little, has been developing a space program that today overwhelms everything. We have seen it with historical landmarks on the moon, with the conquest of mars and now with the last great movement of the Asian country: a permanent space station. They estimate that it will be operational next year.
As reported by PHYS, the Chinese space agency prepares to launch the first core module of its Tianhe space station (attached to a Long March rocket as seen in the photo above). Tianhe will be China’s first permanent space base and if all goes according to plan, it will be operational next year 2022.
China’s idea is to get the station operational with a total of 11 launches from Earth. The first of them will be this week and in the coming months the other ten following to dock more and more modules and supplies to the space station. They indicate that the following missions include four supply and four manned missions.
The reference we have in this case is the International Space Station. In comparison, Tianhe will be only a fraction in size and weight. One sixth of what is the International Space Station. Among its characteristics, they highlight that it will have its own space telescope similar to Hubble.
The other space stations
China never had access to the International Space Station, coordinated mainly by the United States, Russia and Europe. Tianhe seems to be your answer to this historical blockage, but it will not be the only space station we will have in the future. While the International Space Station is in its final stages, there are plans for several more this decade and the next.
Recently for example we saw how Russia announced that they would probably withdraw by 2025 of the International Space Station. The main reason they indicated is the failures of the station, in the background is the fact that are building their own space station that they hope to put into orbit in a few years.
On the other hand, The United States also prepares a new space station. The American country has its eyes fixed on the Moon, where plan a moon base to serve as a launch gate to other places. Something that China is also testing, with the collaboration of Russia.
Finally, it is worth highlighting two previous attempts by China. A prototype called Tiangong-1 went into orbit in 2011 and stayed there until 2018. Over the years it deteriorated and eventually ended up burning in the atmosphere. Similar was el final de Tiangong-2, which although it managed to have astronauts for a short period of time, ended up burning in the atmosphere also in 2019 after 30 days in orbit.
Via | PHYS