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China unveils ambitious plans to expand its space station

by Dubaiforum

BEIJING, 1st March, 2023 (WAM) — During an ongoing exhibition at the National Museum of China, it was revealed that China plans to expand its space station in near-Earth orbit by launching a new module that will dock with the existing structure and create a cross-shaped combination, state news agency (Xinhua) reported.

At the exhibition of achievements in China’s manned space programme of 30 years, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) made public its follow-up plans after the assembly and construction of the space station’s T-shape structure last year.

The new module, which will function as a node cabin, will have multiple docking ports like the core module Tianhe, allowing the space station to accommodate more spaceships, according to the CMSA.

The agency added that China plans to extend the in-orbit operation of its space station by implementing updates and upgrades.

The exhibition also showcased China’s development of a new generation reusable near-Earth crewed spacecraft that can carry four to seven astronauts into space and bring back over 700 kg of payloads to Earth. The country’s existing spaceship can launch three astronauts into space and bring back 50 kg of payloads.

The space station will shift its priority from technological breakthroughs in the building stage to the performance of space applications. A slew of experiments is currently underway or poised to begin in the space station. Some aim to determine how to resist microbes that may damage spacecraft metals, produce oxygen from algae in space, and convert heat energy into electricity.

In the coming years, over 1,000 applications across 65 projects will be implemented on the space station. This effort aims to advance key technologies in special material preparation, stem cell and regenerative medicine, high-precision time-frequency systems, and quantum precision measurement, according to the CMSA.

Rola AlGhoul/ Esraa Esmail


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