From www.cgtn.com – The construction of a space station specific to China is underway, with the central module Tianhe, which means “Heavenly harmony”, sent into space on April 29, kicking off a series of major launch missions aimed at completing construction of the station by the end of 2022.
Tianhe was transported to space by a Long March-5B Y2 carrier rocket from the Wenchang spacecraft launch site on the coast of Hainan Province, south China. This is the first of 11 missions to build and supply the space station.
Tianhe to serve as central module for China’s first low-orbit space station, called Tiangong, which means “Heavenly Palace” in Chinese language.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a congratulatory message that the successful launch of the Tianhe Core Module means that the construction of the Chinese space station has entered the full phase of implementation, which forms a solid basis for subsequent tasks.
The construction of a space station and a national space laboratory is an important objective of China’s three-step human space program strategy, as well as an important, first-rate project to increase the country’s strength in science and technology, as well as in space, Xi Jinping said in the message.
He called on all members who participated in the mission to be self-reliant and innovative, to achieve the overall victory of the space station construction mission, and to make new and greater contributions to the overall construction. of a modern socialist country.
An accessible platform
The new Chinese space station will not only be for Chinese scientists. Foreign astronauts and international cooperation in science experiments are welcome to the Chinese space station, said Hao Chun, Director of China Bureau of Manned Space Engineering, in an exclusive interview with CGTN.
“China and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs have been cooperating on requests regarding the use of the Chinese space station. We signed an agreement ”, Hao Chun said.
To date, a total of nine projects proposed by 17 countries, including France, Germany and Italy, were selected for the first set of experiments which will be carried out in the new space laboratory.
“In the future, there will certainly be foreign astronauts who will participate in China’s space flights, work and live in our space station. Besides, some foreign astronauts are already taking part in Chinese flights and learning the Chinese language ”, said the director.
Building an aerospace power
Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, has personally led the implementation of major aerospace projects, and encouraged China to progress steadily to become an aerospace power.
“Exploring the vast universe, developing space programs and becoming an aerospace power has always been the dream we have strived for”Xi said on the first China Space Day on April 24, 2016.
In 2020, the Chinese space industry produced remarkable results: China successfully put its last Beidou satellite into orbit on June 23; an unmanned Martian probe was sent into space on July 23; an unmanned mission called Chang’e-5 for the purpose of collecting lunar materials was launched on November 24; and China successfully landed the Chang’e-5 probe on the moon’s surface on December 1.