The accomplishments of China’s space program are arriving rapidly and furiously. In mid-December, the robotic Chang’e 5 spacecraft delivered pristine moon fragments to Earth efficiently, which hadn’t been accomplished since 1976. The first completely homegrown Mars spacecraft from China, Tianwen-1, is expected to arrive on February 10 on the Red Planet. And the country expects to start constructing the space station in Earth’s orbit soon after that. The evaluation is in its final stages. Next spring, we will launch the key technology trial and development of the Chinese space station,” Zhou Jianping, who works at human spaceflight program as a chief designer as per the South China Morning Post.   

Within a few months, the hardware expected to take off is the main module of the station, referred to as Tianhe (‘Joining of the Heavens’), that will offer astronauts with living space and life support hold power and propulsion components of the outpost. Tianhe, 59 feet long and weighing roughly 24 tons, will deploy from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island aboard a Long March 5B rocket. Several others will follow Tianhe’s release in reasonably quick succession. South China Morning Post announced that a total of eleven liftoffs would be needed to construct the space station that China intends to finish by the end of 2022.

It is estimated that the finished complex will be around 20 percent as big as the International Space Station that is operated by a consortium of 15 nations, which does not include China. If that is the case, the Chinese outpost would be around the same height as the old Mir space station in Russia that was purposely deorbited in 2001. For several years, China has been getting ready for Tianhe’s launch. In 2011, and the other one, Tiangong-2, in 2016, the country lofted a framework station module named Tiangong-1. Aboard the country’s Shenzhou spaceship, Chinese space explorers visited each of these space laboratories. And in the year 2017, numerous times throughout its mission, robotic cargo vessel Tianzhou-1 explored Tiangong-2, illustrating autonomous docking as well as refueling operations.

In July of 2019, Tiangong-2 was safely deorbited. In the Earth’s atmosphere, Tiangong-1 still burnt up, but its fate was not seen as clean; in April 2018, it descended uncontrollably over the southern Pacific Ocean. Around 2022, China is expected to finish the building of the space station. The building project will be conducted in two stages. In the process of primary technology evaluation, six flight missions and the launch of the core component have been planned.

By Adam