China properly launched its next module, called Wentian, to the Tiangong place station early Sunday early morning (via SpaceNews). Wentian took off aboard a Extensive March 5B rocket from the Wenchang Area Start Site in Hainan, China at 2:22AM ET (2:22PM area), docking at the Tiangong room station about 13 hrs afterwards at 3:13PM ET (3:13AM regional).
The Wentian module is made up of equipment that permits the Chinese astronauts, also acknowledged as taikonauts, to complete a variety of scientific experiments all through their time on the station. As mentioned by The New York Moments, the additional module will also supply a few excess spaces to sleep, as nicely as one more airlock that crewmembers can use to perform spacewalks.
In June, China sent the three-human being Shenzhou 14 crew to Tiangong to prepare for Wentian’s arrival. Mengtian, the station’s 3rd and ultimate lab module, is established to start on a Long March 5B in Oct. This will comprehensive the Tiangong house station, forming a T-shaped structure as soon as the closing module has docked.
There are some concerns about where the enormous Very long March 5B rocket will end up now that it sent Wentian, while. Even though most rockets safely drop their lower stages into the ocean beneath, this style of rocket does things differently. As SpaceNews notes, it provides its payload by launching its whole initial phase into reduced-Earth orbit, with no way to redirect or control its movement when it arrives crashing down to Earth.
In 2020, the rocket was blamed for the metallic debris that wound up in Côte d’Ivoire. It also manufactured an uncontrolled descent into the Indian Ocean just after it sent the Tianhe main module to place past calendar year.