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China Launches Second Space Station Module With Giant Rocket

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China Launches Second Space Station Module With Giant Rocket

(CTN News) – As part of its final mission to complete the orbiting outpost by year’s end, China launched the second Space Station of three modules on Sunday.

CCTV showed the launch of China’s most powerful rocket, the Long March 5B, at 2:22 pm (0622 GMT) at the Wenchang Space Station Launch Center on Hainan’s southern island of Wentian.

Observing the launch from a control room, agency staff cheered and applauded when the Wentian separated from the rocket about 10 minutes after launch.

CCTV reported shortly after the launch that it was a “complete success”.

As the first of 11 crewed and uncrewed missions for the space station, the Tianhe module, the main living quarters, was launched in April 2021.

Along with the other lab module, Mengtian (“Dreaming of the Heavens”), astronauts will conduct scientific experiments in the 17.9-meter-long Wentian lab module.

When completed, Wentian will feature an airlock cabin which will serve as the main exit-entry point for extravehicular activities.

Also, it will accommodate astronauts during short-term crew rotations on the Space station, designed for long-term accommodation of just three astronauts.

Like Wentian, Mengtian will dock with Tianhe, forming a T-shaped structure.

Its completion will be a source of pride for ordinary Chinese people and will mark the end of President Xi Jinping’s 10 years as leader of China’s ruling Communist Party.

Commander Chen Dong and teammates Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe are aboard the space station. With the arrival of the Shenzhou-15 crew in December, they will return to Earth.

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