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China launches permanent space station as it prepares to land on Mars

People watch the Long March 5B rocket carrying the main module of China's Tianan Space Station as it lifts the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China's Hainan Province - AFP

People watch the Long March 5B rocket carrying the main module of China’s Tianhe space station as it ascends from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China’s Hainan Province – AFP

China on Thursday launched the main module of its first permanent space station, as the country pursues its ambitious space program.

Tianhe or “Heavenly Harmony” module exploded into space on a Long March-5B Y2 rocket on the island of Hainan in southern China, state media reported.

The module will become the control and control unit of China’s Tiangong space station, which may be launched by the end of next year, state media reported.

China plans to live in the main module of the station for astronauts for up to six months at a time. At least 12 astronauts are currently training for such missions.

China has invested heavily in its space program, which is a source of national pride, a symbol of the country’s growing technological prowess. Beijing aims to become the leading space power by 2030.

Visitors stand by a giant screen displaying images of the Tianhe space station in an exhibition showcasing China Space Day at the Beijing Museum of Science and Technology in Beijing. ; / RATERS:

Visitors stand in front of a giant screen displaying images of the Tianhe space station in an exhibition showcasing the development of Chinese space exploration at Beijing’s China Science and Technology Museum on Earth Day – TINGSHU WANG / REUTERS

On Thursday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang այլ այլ և այլ այլ այլ ից վարչապետ վարչապետ վարչապետ:::::::::::::

The launch of Tianhe is the first of 11 missions planned to build է supply the Tiangong station with materials, spare parts և equipment.

One feature would be the knot, which can lock up to three spacecraft for a shorter stay or two for a longer stay. It will also have a life support system to process carbon dioxide to lighten the cargo supply needed to hold the ship’s crew for longer.

China has been preparing for its own space station for decades, from the International Space Station, after being banned from orbit by the only space station, largely because of US espionage concerns.

In March, China and Russia announced plans to build a lunar space station together.

A woman raises China's national flag as people gather to watch the launch of the Long March 5B rocket carrying China's Tihane space station & # xa0; - MATJAZ TANCIC / Shutterstock:

Woman raises Chinese national flag as people gather to watch Long March 5B rocket launching from China’s Tianhe space station – MATJAZ TANCIC / Shutterstock

China first sent its astronaut into space in 2003, becoming the third country to do so after the former Soviet Union and the United States.

Since then, China has focused on building new destinations, aligning US-Russian space achievements.

A Chinese probe is due to land on Mars this month, making China the second-largest country after the United States.

The Tianwen-1 space probe was launched in July 2020 and began orbiting Mars this February. His Zhurong rover may soon land on Mars. Once there, he will look for evidence of life on the red planet.

Last year, China successfully landed on the far side of the moon. That probe, Chang’e 5, returned to Earth in December 2020 with lunar rocks. The first samples of the moon, brought back four decades before the US missions.

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