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  • Gordon Dumoulin

New permanent space station ready in just over 18 months...

Source videofromspace : Chinese astronauts Chen Dong and Cai Xuzhe working on the space station during a spacewalk on Nov. 17, 2022.

After having sent two trial versions into space, China launched the core module (Tianhe) of the new permanent space station named 天宮Tiangong (translated as “Palace in the Sky” or “Heavenly Palace”) in April 2021 with the first astronauts arriving in June 2021. The second lab module Wentian was coupled to the core module in July 2022 while final third lab module Mengtian was launched on October 31 this year completing the new space station.

#spaceexploration has been very beneficial for developing high-tech applications on earth such as in communication and navigation, energy, security and other segments. And it will definitely be even more vital in the future with more technical breakthroughs and a wider range of applications involving technology, energy, security, environment and material resources from space.

Spacecrafts and rovers

In addition to the completion of the new permanent #Tiangong #spacestation, China sent Tianwen-1, a robotic #spacecraft to Mars in July 2020 which entered the Mars orbit in February 2021 with a successful touch down on May 14, 2021. Chang'e-4 spacecraft was the first mission ever successfully landing on the far side of the moon in January 2019.

Space and earth telescopes

The Xuntian space telescope under development is scheduled for launch late next year. The telescope will have a field of view 350 times larger than that of NASA’s #Hubble space telescope. The Daocheng Solar Radio Telescope located in Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in #Sichuan province has just been completed this month with more than 300 dishes and a radius of 3km. The telescope is schedule for full operation next year.

In #Guizhou province, world's largest 500m aperture spherical radio telescope has been operational since 2016.

A manned base on the #moon is scheduled for 2030 and a manned mission to #Mars by 2033.

For years, #China had expressed willingness to participate in international space exploration programs, especially through the #ISS, the #internationalspacestation. But the #USA had been blocking China for space collaboration and in 2011, the #USCongress passed the Wolf Amendment, a law prohibiting #NASA to engage in direct, bilateral cooperation with the Chinese government and China-affiliated organizations with regards to space exploration activities.

This isolation from ISS has triggered China’s ambition to become a leading space exploring nation and possibly soon the only country with a space station when ISS could be retired as soon as 2030—that’s the end date the Biden administration gave it after extending its mission last year. Although different plans for new commercial space stations are being laid out in the US.

Tiangong space station will offer opportunities for research collaborations with other countries to advance inclusively in further technical developments.

𝗔𝗻𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗵𝘂𝗴𝗲 𝗴𝗮𝗺𝗲𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗼𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀 𝗮 𝗺𝘂𝗹𝘁𝗶𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗿 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱, 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝘀𝗽𝗮𝗰𝗲…

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