China on July 24 launched the second of three modules to its space station. This was reported by the China National Space Administration.
At 14.22 local time, the Long March 5V launch vehicle carrying the Wentian laboratory module was launched from the Wenchang Cosmodrome in southern China. Approximately 495 seconds later, the module successfully separated from the rocket.

The 17.9-meter-long Wentian module will be a place where astronauts can conduct science experiments, along with another laboratory module yet to be launched, Mengtian, Reuters notes .

Wentian has an airlock cabin that should be the main EVA point when the station is completed.

It will also serve as short-term accommodation for astronauts during crew changes on the station, designed to accommodate just three astronauts for long periods.

China began construction of the orbital station in April 2021 with the launch of the station’s base module, Tianhe. In May, the cargo ship “Tianzhou-2” successfully docked to the module. Completion of construction is scheduled for the end of 2022.

The Chinese station will be the third multi-module manned station in Earth orbit after Mir (now defunct) and the International Space Station.

In October 2021, China delivered three astronauts to its orbital station under construction.

By Peter

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