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Representative image (Photo Credit - Reuters)
Representative image (Photo Credit - Reuters)

China launches first lab module for its space station

ANI | Updated: Jul 24, 2022 14:40 IST

Beijing [China], July 24 (ANI): China launched Wentian, the first lab module of its space station, local media reported on Sunday.
Xinhua News Agency reported that the new module will function both as a backup of the core module and as a powerful scientific experiment platform.
The Wentian module is 17.9 meters long, has a maximum diameter of 4.2 meters, and a takeoff mass of 23 tonnes, according to Liu Gang, deputy chief designer of the China manned space program's space station system with the China Academy of Space Technology.
The Wentian module consists of a work cabin, an airlock cabin and a resource cabin.
The Long March-5B Y3 carrier rocket, carrying Wentian, blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan at 2:22 pm (Beijing Time), according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA), Xinhua reported.

About 495 seconds later, Wentian separated from the rocket and entered the planned orbit. The launch is a complete success, the CMSA declared.
This is the 24th flight mission since the country's manned space program was approved and initiated.
The construction of China's Tiangong space station is expected to be completed this year. It will then evolve from a single-module structure into a national space laboratory with three modules -- the core module, Tianhe, and two lab modules, Wentian and Mengtian, as per the local media.
The Tianhe module was launched in April 2021, and the Mengtian module is set to be launched in October this year.
Later, the Wentian module will rendezvous and dock with the combination of the space station according to the scheduled procedures, and the Shenzhou-14 astronauts will enter Wentian to carry out relevant work. (ANI)