China’s Wentian space laboratory blasted off early Sunday for the Tiangong space station. and will begin to be installed in the next few hours, according to the China Space Agency.
The rocket carrying the module, a Long March-5B Y3, successfully departed from the Wenchang base in Hainan province, in the south of the country, at 2:22 p.m. (local time, 1:22 a.m. Central Mexico time).
Wentian will semi-automatically dock with the station’s Tianhe core module to become the second segment of the three that will constitute the space station for the time being, after the launch of the Tianhe in April 2021.
[🔴China’s 25th launch in 2022] At UTC 06:22 July 24, Wentian (问天/QuestHeaven) Laboratory Module was successfully launched by Long March (CZ) 5B rocket in Wenchang, Hainan. Wentian will dock with Tiangong Space Station (CSS) in the coming hours! Full HD: https://t.co/QUbYzXUEve pic.twitter.com/s1xZDq0dXb
—CNSA Watcher (@CNSAWatcher) July 24, 2022
The work in the module will focus mainly on the study of space life sciences, on growth, development, genetics and aging of multiple species of plants, animals and microorganisms in space conditions, as explained by Lv Congmin, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to the Chinese international state newspaper Global Times.
In addition to its use for experiments, the 23-tonne, nearly 18-meter-long laboratory module will provide the Tiangong crew with a special airlock and an emergency shelter to ensure your safety during outdoor activities.
China is preparing to launch a second research module, the Mengtian, in October. more geared towards scientific research in microgravity situations, equipped with experimental cabinets for experiments in fluid physics, materials science, combustion science, basic physics and space technology.