The launched mission is expected to work for about 15 years orbiting about 400 kilometers from the Earth’s surface.
China has successfully launched an unmanned ship on Sunday that will transfer the Wentian laboratory module to its space station with a view to completing the construction of this infrastructure by the end of this year.
A Long March-5B Y3 rocket took off this Sunday from the Wenchang launch base, located in the southern province of Hainan, carrying with it the Wentian laboratory module, reported the CMSA, the Chinese agency dedicated to manned space missions, which described of “absolute success” the operation.
Eight minutes after takeoff, the Wentian separated from the transport rocket and entered the planned orbit so that hours later it can dock with the central module – named Tianhe – of the Tiangong space station.
There, the Shenzhou-14 crew of three taikonauts is just hours away from completing its first major mission in orbit, welcoming the arrival of the Wentian laboratory module and adding it to the three-module space station.
Weighing 23 tons at launch, the Wentian consists of three parts: a work cabin, an airlock compartment, and a resource cabin, with a total length of 17.9 meters and a diameter of 4 ,2 meters.
The mission launched this Sunday is the 24th of the Chinese manned space program and the third of the six scheduled this year to complete the construction of the space station, said the director of the CMSA Engineering office, Hao Chun, quoted by media local.
The Chinese space station, whose name means “Heavenly Palace” in Mandarin, will weigh about 70 tons and is expected to operate for about 15 years orbiting about 400 kilometers above the Earth’s surface.