China’s new scientific lab “ Wentian Space Station Module ” was launched lately onboard Long March 5B launch vehicle. The module was docked with the China’s under- construction space station on July 25, 2022.

Highlights of the launch

  • It was the alternate module of the three modules planned for the space station.
  • Module launch took place from Wenchang Space Launch Centre on southern island of Hainan.
  • It marked the third launch since the construction of Chinese Space Station started in April 2021.
  • Alternate module is preceded by Tianzhou- class cargo spacecraft and Shenzhou- 14 crewed spacecraft.
  • Launch of Wentian will be followed by alternate lab module called Mengtian, which is scheduled to be launched in October 2022.
  • Tianhe module is the core cabin module for the space station. Three astronauts are presently living there and are on a six- month mission.

Wentian Space Station Module
Wentian Space Station Module has been designed to conduct science and biology experiments. It weighs 23- ton and is heavier as compared to other single- module spacecraft present in space. It’s a17.9 meters long module. Wentian module features an airlock cabin, which will act as the main exit- entry point for extravehicular activities after the construction of space station is completed. It’ll also serve the purpose of short- term living quarters for astronauts on crew reels to the station.

Mengtian Module
Mengtian Module is scheduled to be launched in October 2022. It’ll be docked with Tianhe, and form a T- shaped structure.

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