In the 2013 Hollywood sci-fi movie “Gravity,” the heroine succeeds in returning to Earth aboard the exiting Chinese space station. At that time, this was pure cinematic fiction, and after 8 years had passed, China turned it into reality by launching the main unit “Tianhe” (Harmony of the Sky) to be the first building block in its space station to end the era of the hegemony of the International Space Station and the US Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA). Space is the preserve of them.
After more than 20 years and the International Space Station roaming the sky of our planet as a loyal space guard at an altitude of 420 km from the surface of the earth, China has succeeded at 03:23 GMT on Thursday April 29, 2021 in the launch of the central unit of its space station that will orbit around the Earth at altitude It ranges between 400 and 450 km. Read also It intends to complete it in 2022 … China launches a major unit on its first space station Chinese space agency scientists expect the return of the probe “Chang E-5″With the “Chang’e-5” mission, will China become the third country to bring samples from the moon?Watch – Moon Palace … China’s plan to build a inhabited city on the surface of the moon
The station will complete its operational capacity in 2022 after completing its other components with 10 other missions to launch the remaining components and install them in its orbit around Earth.
Station Completion Missions
Apart from the successfully completed central unit launch mission, China plans to launch 10 more missions to transport two more units to the station, 4 shipments of supplies and 4 teams of astronauts. At least 12 astronauts are currently receiving training in space travel and life, including experienced astronauts from previous flights and missions, both men and women.
The station is expected to operate for 10 years, which can be extended to 15 years. The first space mission (named Shinzo 12) is expected to be launched, which will transport the first group of astronauts to this unit in June of this year, and the mission includes sending 3 astronauts into orbit towards 3 months for system life support and maintenance test.
When the Chinese space station is completed at the end of 2022, it will weigh 66 tons, which is very lean compared to the International Space Station, which launched its first unit in 1998, and it will weigh 450 tons when completed.
The Chinese station will contain a docking and docking port, and it will be able to communicate with a powerful Chinese space satellite, and it is theoretically possible to expand it by adding other units.
The station is intended and designed to accommodate astronauts for a long time. While the size of the Chinese station is equivalent to a fifth of the International Space Station, it is equivalent to the size of the Russian “Mir” station, which continued to orbit the Earth from 1986 to 2001.
The station targets are long-range
China had begun preparations for the establishment of a space station in the early 1990s with the development of its space program, but it was excluded from the International Space Station due to US objections to the secret nature of the Chinese program and its strong links to the military system.
In the past ten years, China launched two space station experimental units, before launching permanent station units. The first unit – its name (Tiangong 1), meaning (Sky Palace) – lost its orbit, and was decommissioned and burned in the atmosphere in 2016, while the second unit (Tiangong 2) was successfully taken out of its orbit in 2018. Advertising
The main capsule that was launched – called “Tianhe” (Harmony of Heaven) – contains 3 living compartments for 3 astronauts. According to the China Space Science and Technology Authority, it is 16.6 meters long, 4.2 meters in diameter, and a living space of 50 cubic meters.
The space station will allocate its capabilities to a number of international microgravity experiments. Six projects have been accepted so far, including an experiment on the impact of space travel on cancer tumors run from the ground by researchers from Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
Although China has stated that it does not intend to devote its space station to international cooperation purposes such as the International Space Station, it has declared its welcome to foreign cooperation without specifying the scope of cooperation.
An ambitious space program
This launch comes as a new achievement in China’s space program and its ambitious plans to confirm its permanent human presence in space alongside the International Space Station, and to end the era of absolute dominance over the Earth’s sky for more than two decades.
China has poured billions of dollars on its space program in order to confirm its global position, and to show its advanced scientific and technological capabilities as a great power referred to by Lebanon, similar to the United States and Russia. It is worth noting that China’s space program is a source of pride and national pride, and senior military leaders attended the launch event from the Beijing Control Center.
These space investments have paid off, and China has gone far in its space program since the launch of its first satellite in 1970.
After years of successful launch of space missiles and commercial satellites, China sent the first Chinese astronaut into space in October 2003 as part of the “Shinzo 5” mission, to be the third country to do so independently after the United States and Russia.
Then China sent 3 more astronauts into Earth orbit, and a squad of astronauts was sent to the original “Tiangong” station.
China has intensified its cooperation with other space experts from other countries, such as France, Sweden, Russia and Italy, but NASA can enter into cooperation with China only after obtaining approval from Congress, which is not inclined to do so in order to preserve US technological secrets under the pretext of protecting national security.