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China will launch the main module of the Heavenly Harmony space station

BEIJING (AP) – China plans to launch the main module of its first permanent space station this week for the latest major breakthrough in the country’s space exploration program.

The Tianhe, or “Heavenly Harmony” module, is about to launch into space on the Long March 5B rocket at the Wenchang Launch Center in southern Hainan Island. The start can be as early as Thursday evening, if everything goes as planned.

This will be 11 of the first missions to build and supply the space station for a crew of three.

Here’s a look at the planned launch և The past and future of China’s space program.

By the end of 2022, it is planned to carry out 11 missions

Will send two more modules for another 10 launches. four cargo transportation չորս four staff missions. At least 12 astronauts are training to fly to and from the station, including veterans of previous flights, newcomers, and women.

Tianhe is expected to weigh about 66 tons by the end of 2022, the size of the International Space Station, which launched its first module in 1998 and will weigh about 450 tons after its completion. Tianhe will have a port port, will be able to connect to a powerful Chinese space satellite. Theoretically, it could be expanded with more modules.

Tianhe’s main module will initially be about the size of the’s former Soviet / Russian Mir spacecraft Skylab, which operated for more than 14 years after its launch in 1986.


In the last decade, China has launched two pilot modules to build a permanent station. One, Tiangong-1, which means “Heavenly Palace-1”, was abandoned and burned during an uncontrollable loss of orbit. Its successor, Tiangong-2, was successfully launched into orbit in 2018.

China began preparing for the space station in the early 1990s, when its space program gained momentum. It was excluded from the ISS mainly due to US objections to the secret nature of the Chinese program երտ close military ties.


After years of successfully launching commercial rockets and satellites, China gave its first astronaut in October 2003. It was only the third country to do so after the former Soviet Union and the United States. Since that mission in Shenzhou 5, China has sent other astronauts into orbit, stationed crews at Tiangong’s base station, and taken a spacewalk.

It has increased cooperation with space experts from other countries, including France, Sweden, Russia and Italy. NASA must obtain permission from the reluctant Congress to enter into such contacts.

China has also been pushed forward without manned missions, particularly in lunar reconnaissance, landing on the less explored far side of the moon. In December, its Chang’e 5 probe returned lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since US missions in the 1970s.


Tianhe’s mission comes just weeks before a Chinese probe landed on Mars, making China the third country to carry it out after the former Soviet Union and the United States. The Tianwen-1 space probe has been orbiting the red planet since February, collecting data. Its Zhurong rover will be looking for evidence of life.

Another Chinese project aims to assemble the asteroid, the main axis of the Japan Aponia space program, the asteroid.

China plans another mission in 2024 to bring back lunar specimens, has said it wants to land people on the moon, and may build a science base there. No schedule has been proposed for such projects. It is reported that a very secret spacecraft is also under development.


China’s plan has been steadily and cautiously pursued according to a carefully crafted schedule, largely avoiding the failures of US-Russian efforts as they faced stiff competition in the early days of space flight. There was a recent setback when the Long March 5 rocket failed to develop the 2017 version of the Long March 5B, which will be used to launch the Tianhe module, but engineers were quick to address the issue.

Critics say China’s space program has successfully replicated the achievements of the United States and Russia without finding much new ground. The country’s growing technological skills may stop such talk in the coming years. The country may need more private sector involvement to drive innovation, as the United States has done with SpaceX և Blue Origin համար to use new technologies such as reusable rockets.

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