July 24 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Chinese space laboratory Wentian has taken off this past morning bound for the Tiangong space station and will begin to be installed in the next few hours, as reported by 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, 08:22 p.m.). tomorrow in Spain).
Wentian will semi-automatically dock with the station’s Tianhe core module to become the second of three segments that will make up the space station for now, after Tianhe launches in April 2021.
The work in the module will focus mainly on the study of space life sciences, on the growth, development, genetics and aging of multiple species of plants, animals and microorganisms in space conditions, as explained by Lv Congmin, researcher from 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 emergency shelter to ensure their safety during outdoor activities.
China prepares the launch in October of a second research module, the Mengtian, more oriented to scientific research in microgravity situations, equipped with experimental cabinets for experiments in fluid physics, materials science, combustion science, basic physics and space technology.