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Chinese Astronauts Successfully Launch their Space Station’s Second Module Lab

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Second Module Lab

Second Module Lab

China launched a second laboratory module for its ambitious #space station project on Monday with great success. A Long March-5B Y4 rocket, one of China’s largest rockets, was used to launch the Mengtian lab module from the Wenchang #Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan.

The local news channels broadcast the launch live. After the launch had been underway for about 10 minutes, a representative of the #China Manned Space Agency declared that the operation had been successful and that the spacecraft had reached its target orbit. Later, it will dock with the space station’s orbiting core module.

According to the state-run Xinhua news agency, the Mengtian module, the second lab module of China’s under-construction space station, will house scientific apparatus for experiments in fluid physics, materials science, combustion science, and fundamental physics as well as for studying microgravity. The earlier-sent Wentian lab placed a greater emphasis on biological and space life sciences.

The Mengtian will also have the first cold atomic clocks to be based in space; they are composed of a hydrogen clock, a rubidium clock, and an optical clock.

According to Zhang Wei, director of the Utilization Development Center of Technology and Engineering Center for Space Utilisation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, “if successful, the cold atomic clocks will form the most precise time and frequency system in space, which should not lose one second in hundreds of millions of years.” Zhang Wei was quoted as saying this in a recent article published in the state-run Global Times.

China is currently constructing a space station, and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC) stated in an announcement that it was anticipated to be finished this year. Three astronauts were transported to the space station’s Tianhe main module in two batches during the course of a six-month mission to finish construction.

While one group of three astronauts returned, a second group of three astronauts is presently stationed in Tianhe to finish the building. China will be the only nation with a space station once it is complete. A number of nations worked together to build Russia’s International Space Station (ISS). China Space Station (CSS) is anticipated to be a rival to the Russian-built International Space Station (ISS).

Once the ISS departs in the upcoming years, observers predict the CSS may be the only space station to stay in orbit. Its two robotic arms, especially the long one about which the US has previously expressed concern over its ability to snag items like satellites from space, are a key component of China’s currently under construction space station.

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