China launches lab module Mengtian as space station approaches completion

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 31, 2022
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The combination of China's space station lab module Mengtian and its carrier rocket Long March-5B Y4 is transported to the launch area at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China's Hainan Province, Oct. 25, 2022. [Photo/Xinhua]

China on Monday launched the space lab module Mengtian, taking the construction of the country's space station Tiangong into final stage.

The Mengtian module, flying to join the two-module combination already about 400 km above Earth, is the last "building block" that allows Tiangong to form a T-shape structure, the planned layout at the space station's completion.

The new combination is projected to take shape after a succession of elaborately-maneuvered tasks including the docking and the subsequent in-orbit transposition.

The Long March-5B Y4 carrier rocket, carrying Mengtian, blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan at 3:37 p.m. (Beijing Time), according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

About eight minutes later, Mengtian separated from the rocket and entered its preset orbit. The CMSA declared the launch a complete success.

This is the 25th flight mission since the country's manned space program was approved and initiated in 1992.

The building of Tiangong into a national space laboratory with three modules marks a milestone in China's three-decade effort to advance its manned space program.

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