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 المحطة الفضائية الصينية تيانقونغ infographic
Graphic shows China’s Tiangong space station which was completed on October 31, 2022.


المحطة الفضائية الصينية تيانقونغ

By Duncan Mil

November 1, 2022 - أكملت الصين بنجاح بناء محطتها الفضائية تيانقونغ التي سيلتحم بها التلسكوب الصيني الفضائي شونتيان والتي ستستضيف التجارب المخطط لها في المدار، على ارتفاع حوالي 400 كلم فوق الأرض.

The laboratory module, named Mengtian -- or “Dreaming of the Heavens” -- was launched on a Long March 5B rocket from the Wenchang launch centre on China’s southern island of Hainan, China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said.

CMSA said Mengtian, currently connected to the core module’s front docking port, will be moved to a side port to restore the station’s symmetry and complete its basic T-shape configuration.

Mengtian carries a trio of optical clocks intended to keep time with unprecedented precision and seven minilabs for research ranging from fluids physics to materials science.

According to CMSA, Mengtian also has a dedicated area -- 32 cubic metres of its nearly 110 cubic metres total volume -- for astronauts to work, but no sleeping area or toilet.

China’s first space-based optical telescope, known as Xuntian -- “Space Sentinel” -- is due for launch in 2023. Xuntian will fly in the same orbit as the space station but will work independently, researching the universe’s formation and dark matter.

In December, the Tianzhou 5 cargo craft and the Shenzhou 15 crew will arrive at the orbiting outpost for the station’s first-ever crew handover.

PUBLISHED: 01/11/2022; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: China National Space Administration