The main module of Tiangong-3, which China has prepared as a rival to the International Space Station, is launched into orbit this year. Manned tests will begin immediately after the main module is launched.

China, which has been on the agenda recently with its investments in space research, is now at the final stage for the new space station, where it has been working for a long time. The main module of the new space station Tiangong-3 (Sky Palace 3) will be launched into orbit next spring, according to the report in the local news agency Xinhua.

Making some statements on the subject, Zhou Jianping, the head of Chinese manned space programs, said that the tests on the Tiangong-3 main module have been completed and the final preparations are now made before the launch. Zhou Jianping also stated that the taikonotes that will work in Tiangong-3 are currently in the training process.

“We are planning two missions named Tianzhou-2 and Shenzhou-12 after the launch of the main module. Tianzhou-2 will be an unmanned cargo mission. Shenzhou-12 will be a crewed mission,” said Zhou Jianping. used the expressions. No clear dates have yet been given for the two missions.

The Tiangong 3 space station has a modular design. As you can see in the image below, it consists of a main module (core module) and two experimental modules. The Chinese space agency said the experimental modules will also be launched into orbit next year. Thus, by 2022, Tiangong-3 will be fully completed.

Since Tiangong 3 has a modular structure, extra parts can be added to the station in the future if desired. For example, a space telescope developed by China, which is said to be 300 times stronger than Hubble, could be clamped to Tiangong 3.

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Because China was not involved in the International Space Station (ISS) project, it had not been very active in manned space missions for a long time. In this sense, Tiangong 3 will have a very important place in China’s history of space exploration. China has also said that they are ready to make an international partnership for Tiangong 3 and that other countries can send astronauts to the space station if the necessary agreements are made. In this sense, there is also the goal of creating a competitor to ISS.

A substantial majority of the technologies used in Tiangong 3 were previously tested on Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2 mini-stations. Tiangong-1, launched in 2011, in 2018; Tiangong-2, which was launched in 2016, fell to Earth in 2019. Two mini-stations hosted a total of 5 taikonos.


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