17 June 2021 (TDI): Since, its launch in November 1998, the International Space Station, a collaborative project involving NASA, ESA, Roscosmos, JAXA, and CSA; has sustained its reputation as the sole and dominant space station in orbit. However, this dominance might be endangered now, since China plans to create its very own space station.
China has successfully launched three astronauts Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming, and Tang Hongbo into orbit today which has brought the country one step closer to its new endeavor. A Long March-2F carrier rocket was used to launch the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in China’s Gobi Desert. The mission aims to send the crew to the core module named Tianhe, on the space station, which is under construction in a low Earth orbit.
In about four and a half hours, the spacecraft is planned to dock with the core module. The three-astronaut crew will stay in orbit for about three months, testing the maintenance as well as the life support systems of the station. ” The possibility of various problems is quite high. So, for the astronauts, emergency decision-making and troubleshooting capabilities are also very high requirements,” said Huang Weifen, one of the chief designers of the manned space program.
The T-shaped space station has been named Tiangong, which means heavenly harmony in Chinese. The three modules of this space station weigh almost 66 metric tons whereas the International Space Station weighs about 420 tons. Nevertheless, this mission increases the number of Chinese astronauts who have traveled to the vacuum
of space to 14.
Report by Harris Ahmad. He is currently studying in 10th grade in The City School, Islamabad. He is a space enthusiast and writes a blog https://cosmicexplorationhub.blogspot.com/