The station, which will orbit from 340 to 450 km above the earth’s surface, could be enlarged to 180 tons, if necessary
The Long March-5B carrier rocket is ready to send space capsules to the space station for the Chinese space station. Launch date scheduled for 2020. For this major project, Zhou Jianping, an academic of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, was appointed chief designer of the space program.
According to reports from the China Manned Space Agency, Gu Yidong, an academic of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was named instead the chief space scientist of the program. In the team that will have the task of building the space station there are also the first Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei and seven other experts in sectors such as spacecraft, carrier rockets, space technology applications, monitoring and communication systems.
With the project, China aims to complete the construction of the space station around 2022. With a weight of 66 tons, the Tiangong space station will be T-shaped with the central Tianhe module in the center and the Wentian and Mengtian experiment capsules on each side.
Sixteen experiment racks will be installed on the space station
The station, which will orbit from 340 to 450 km above the earth’s surface, could be enlarged to 180 tons, if necessary, and accommodate three to six astronauts. It is designed to last at least 10 years and could be extended through in-orbit maintenance, according to Zhou Jianping.
China is also selecting new astronauts for space station missions. Once construction of the station is complete, China welcomes overseas astronauts to collaborate with domestic astronauts aboard the Chinese space station.
Zhou also stated that international spacecraft can be anchored to the Chinese space station if they use a Chinese docking mechanism.
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