China efficiently launched its second module, known as Wentian, to the Tiangong house station early Sunday morning (via SpaceNews). Wentian took off aboard a Lengthy March 5B rocket from the Wenchang House Launch Web site in Hainan, China at 2:22AM ET (2:22PM native), docking on the Tiangong house station about 13 hours later at 3:13PM ET (3:13AM native).
The Wentian module accommodates gear that enables the Chinese language astronauts, often known as taikonauts, to carry out numerous scientific experiments throughout their time on the station. As noted by The New York Times, the extra module will even present three additional areas to sleep, in addition to one other airlock that crewmembers can use to conduct spacewalks.
In June, China sent the three-person Shenzhou 14 crew to Tiangong to arrange for Wentian’s arrival. Mengtian, the station’s third and last lab module, is about to launch on a Lengthy March 5B in October. This can full the Tiangong house station, forming a T-shaped construction as soon as the ultimate module has docked.
There are some issues about the place the massive Long March 5B rocket will find yourself now that it delivered Wentian, although. Whereas most rockets safely drop their decrease phases into the ocean beneath, any such rocket does issues in a different way. As SpaceNews notes, it delivers its payload by launching its whole first stage into low-Earth orbit, with no method to redirect or management its motion when it comes crashing right down to Earth.
In 2020, the rocket was blamed for the metal debris that wound up in Côte d’Ivoire. It additionally made an uncontrolled descent into the Indian Ocean after it delivered the Tianhe core module to house final 12 months.