The central capsule, called Tianhe , or Harmony of the Skies, is 16.6 meters long and 4.2 meters in diameter. The construction of the space station marks the beginning of the third stage of China’s manned space program, which was approved by the government in 1992 .
The largest ship in China
Specifically, a Long March 5B heavy load carrier rocket has been launched, with a central stage and four lateral thrusters, a height equivalent to an 18-story building and a takeoff weight of 849 tons .
– CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) April 29, 2021
The launch is intended to transport the 22.5-ton capsule, the largest and heaviest spacecraft China has ever built , into low Earth orbit about 400 kilometers above Earth to place the first piece of the country’s space station. .
The multi-module space station, called Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace, will be made up mainly of three components, a central module attached to two space labs, with a combined weight of nearly 70 tons . The entire Tiangong station is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2022 and scheduled to operate for about 15 years.
The module sent will be critical to the future operations of the space station, as the astronauts will live there and control the entire station from the inside. Next year, the two Tiangong space laboratories, two manned missions and two robotic cargo flights will be dispatched to continue construction of the station .