China Launches Mengtian, the Final Main Module to its House Station


On the afternoon of Monday, October thirty first, 2022 (Halloween!), China launched the Mengtian laboratory cabin module into house, the place it is going to be part of the Tiangong modular house station. This module, whose title interprets to “Dreaming of the Heavens,” is the second laboratory and remaining addition to Tiangong (“Palace within the Sky”). This profitable launch locations China one step nearer to finishing its first long-term house station, roughly one-fifth the mass of the Worldwide House Station (ISS) and comparable in dimension to Russia’s decommissioned Mir house station.

The occasion was live-streamed by the state-owned China International Tv Community (CGTN) and noticed the module launch atop a Lengthy March-5B rocket from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Web site within the southern Hainan province. The launch started at 03:37 PM Beijing Time (08:37 AM EDT; 11:37 AM PDT, October thirtieth) and separated from its launcher about eight minutes later and entered Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Hours later, Mengtian rendezvoused and docked with Tiangong, fulfilling China’s purpose of finishing the house station by the tip of this 12 months.

China’s house station is the third installment in China’s Tiangong program, which started with the launch of Tiangong-1 in September 2011. The launch of Tiangong-2 adopted in September 2016 – a number of months earlier than its predecessor was deorbited and burned up within the environment – and deorbited by July 2019. The teachings realized from these two stations knowledgeable the creation of Tiangong-3, which started with the deployment of the Tianhe (“Concord of the Heavens”) core module in April 2021.

This was adopted by a number of crewed and uncrewed missions to the station to develop experience in rendezvous’ and short-term stays. This 12 months, China started including laboratory cabin modules, beginning with the Wentian (“Quest for the Heavens”) science module in July 2022. The Mengtian module is analogous when it comes to dimension and weight to Tianhe and Wentian, measuring 17.9 meters (65 ft) lengthy, 4.2 meters (13.8 ft) in diameter (at its widest level), and weighing about 23 metric tons (25.35 US tons).

Not like the Tianhe and Wentian modules, the laboratory cabin modules are primarily designed for scientific experiments. Their inside structure consists of 4 sections: a working cabin, a payload cabin, a useful resource cabin, and an airlock cabin – however no sleeping cabin. When the subsequent taikonaut crews arrive, they’ll use these labs to conduct microgravity analysis, together with fluid physics, supplies and combustion science, and aerospace expertise experiments. China hopes this station will succeed the ISS as soon as it’s decommissioned (at present scheduled for 2030).

Additional Studying: CGTN

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