China has submitted a reply of his first large space station, which plans to launch from 2022 and should become the only one in space after the planned withdrawal of the International Space Station (ISS).
Crowned by a mannequin dressed as an astronaut and decorated with red and yellow Chinese flags, the white ship is one of the great attractions of the aeronautical and aerospace fair in Zhuhai, in the south of the country.
the China Space Station (CSS), also called Tiangong ("Celeste Palace") will have three parts: a main module about 17 meters long (place of life and work) presented on Tuesday and two annexes (for scientific experiments).
This is the replica of the future Chinca space station was exhibited this Tuesday in Guangdong. (AFP)
Three astronauts will be able to live continuously in the new orbital station, with a total weight of at least 60 tons and equipped with solar panels. They can carry out investigations into science, biology and microgravity.
The assembly of the CSS should start "around 2022". Your life expectancy is estimated at ten years.
The Chinese station should therefore become the only station that flies into space after the planned withdrawal in 2024 of the International Space Station (ISS), which connects the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada. It will, however, be much smaller.
"China will use its space station in the same way its ISS partners are currently using their own: research, development technologies and preparation of Chinese crews for long-haul flights," explains GoTaikonauts analyst Chen Lan. .com, a website specialized in the Chinese space program.
China instead announced in May with the United Nations Office for Space Affairs that its station it would be open "to all countries" conduct scientific experiments.
Institutes, universities and public and private companies have been invited to present projects. China has received 40 proposals from 27 countries and regions, which now have to go through a selection process, CCTV state television said in October.
"Over time I am sure that China will be able to develop partnerships," said Bill Ostrove, a space specialist at the US consulting firm Forecast International.
The new Chinese space suits.
"Many countries and more and more private companies and universities have space programs but have no money to build space stations. [gracias a China] sending useful payloads to an inhabited flight platform and carrying out experiments is very valuable, "he adds.
The European Space Agency is already sending astronauts to train in China with the goal that they travel one day to the orbital station of that country.
It is also possible that one day an American astronaut can work in CSS. "The Chinese space agency and the UN could imagine it, but it is not sure that the United States Congress has the same opinion," Chen said.
Beijing invests millions of dollars in its space program, coordinated by the army. It puts satellites in orbit, alone (Earth observation, telecommunications, Beidu geolocation system) or for other countries. He also hopes to send a robot to Mars and humans to the Moon.
China will thus become "one of the great powers of space", according to Bill Ostrove, Russia, Japan and India will continue to play "a big role", while the United States will remain for now a "dominant space power".
View of the lunar probe Chang E-5 (left) and the satellite tracking and transmission of Relay Satellite data displayed during the first day of the XII edition of the international aerospace and aeronautical show in China. (EFE)
"In addition, private companies occupy a growing place in the space market. This is why it will be difficult for a country or two or a few companies to dominate the industry like the United States did during the Cold War, "he says.
For his part, Chen Lan states that "dominating space has never been a goal for China". "But trade challenges are increasingly important in space and [China] see how innovation and science are important economic factors ".