China efficiently launched its second module, known as Wentian, to the Tiangong house station early Sunday morning (by way of SpaceNews). Wentian took off aboard a Lengthy March 5B rocket from the Wenchang Area 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 incorporates gear that enables the Chinese language astronauts, often known as taikonauts, to carry out numerous scientific experiments throughout their time on the station. As famous by The New York Instances, the extra module can even present three further areas to sleep, in addition to one other airlock that crewmembers can use to conduct spacewalks.
In June, China despatched the three-person Shenzhou 14 crew to Tiangong to arrange for Wentian’s arrival. Mengtian, the station’s third and closing lab module, is ready to launch on a Lengthy March 5B in October. It will full the Tiangong house station, forming a T-shaped construction as soon as the ultimate module has docked.
There are some considerations about the place the large Lengthy March 5B rocket will find yourself now that it delivered Wentian, although. Whereas most rockets safely drop their decrease levels into the ocean under, any such rocket does issues otherwise. As SpaceNews notes, it delivers its payload by launching its whole first stage into low-Earth orbit, with no solution to redirect or management its motion when it comes crashing all the way down to Earth.
In 2020, the rocket was blamed for the steel particles 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.