Chinese astronauts set up new lab on Space Station

Chinese astronauts have entered a new lab that arrived at the country’s orbiting space station this week.

The Wentian Laboratory module launched aboard a Long March 5B-Y3 rocket from a Chinese space center on the southern island of Hainan on Sunday, state media reported. The flight lasted 13 hours.

The module is the second of three that will complete the country’s Tiangong space station. The latest module, called the Mengtian, is due to launch in October. Chinese officials have said they expect the space station to be fully operational by the end of this year.

Three Chinese astronauts who began a six-month stay on the space station in June oversaw the arrival of the Wentian lab and its connection to the main module.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, an image taken off-screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center shows Chinese astronaut Chen Dong opening the hatch door of the Wentian Laboratory module on Monday, July 25 2022. (Guo Zhongzheng/Xinhua via PA)

Orbital laboratories are designed to allow astronauts to perform scientific and biological experiments and test new technologies. Among the first planned research will be cell and growth experiments involving plants, fruit flies and zebrafish, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Astronauts currently visiting the space station live in the main module of Tianhe. When fully completed, the station is designed to accommodate up to six astronauts at a time.

Current astronauts aboard the space station include Commander Chen Dong and team members Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe. The group is expected to return to Earth in December after the arrival of a new crew.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Long March 5B Y3 carrier rocket, carrying the Wentian laboratory module, takes off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China's Hainan Province on Sunday July 24, 2022. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, the Long March 5B Y3 carrier rocket, carrying the Wentian laboratory module, takes off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China’s Hainan Province on Sunday July 24, 2022. (Li Gang/Xinhua via AP)

Hours after the module’s arrival, state broadcaster CCTV showed video of the astronauts floating inside the new lab. CCTV described the launch and link operation as “a complete success”.

The Chinese state enterprise world times The newspaper reported that the 23-ton Wentian Laboratory is heavier than any other single-module spacecraft currently in space. The module will serve as the main entrance and go out benchmark for future spacecraft activities.

Tiangong’s completed structure will be about one-fifth the size of the International Space Station (ISS), Reuters news agency reported.

The space station project marks the latest advancement in China’s space program.

An image taken on Mars by China's Zhurong rover from China's Tianwen-1 mission is seen in this handout image released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), May 19, 2021. (CNSA/Handout via REUTERS)

An image taken on Mars by China’s Zhurong rover from China’s Tianwen-1 mission is seen in this handout image released by the China National Space Administration (CNSA), May 19, 2021. (CNSA/Handout via REUTERS)

About a year ago, China successfully landed a spacecraft on Mars. The Tianwen-1 spacecraft carried a robotic explorer, called Zhurong. The explorer, or rover, is expected to measure atmospheric conditions and magnetic forces as it searches for signs of ancient life on Mars.

China’s space program is run by the military wing of the ruling Communist Party, the People’s Liberation Army. China has largely completed its Tiangong program without help from other nations. The United States has not allowed China to cooperate with the International Space Station because of the Chinese space program’s military ties.

In this artist's rendering made available by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Saturday, May 22, 2021, China's Zhurong rover is depicted on the surface of Mars.  China's first Mars rover has descended from its landing pad and is now circling the Red Planet's surface, China's space administration said on Saturday.  (CNSA via AP)

In this artist’s rendering made available by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Saturday, May 22, 2021, China’s Zhurong rover is depicted on the surface of Mars. China’s first Mars rover has descended from its landing pad and is now circling the Red Planet’s surface, China’s space administration said on Saturday. (CNSA via AP)

China launched its first astronaut into orbit in 2003, making it the third country to do so alone after the former Soviet Union and the United States. China has also returned to the moon samples on Earth and officials discussed a possible crewed mission to the Moon.

Next year, China plans to launch a new large space telescope. The telescope should be positioned in the same orbit as Tiangong, allowing the station to link up with it for resupply and repairs should the need arise.

I am Brian Lynn.

The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse reported this story. Bryan Lynn adapted the reports for VOA Learning English.

Quiz – Chinese astronauts set up a new laboratory for the space station

Quiz - Chinese astronauts set up a new laboratory for the space station

Start the Quiz to find out

_____________________________________________________________

words in this story

module nm part of an object that can function on its own, especially part of a spacecraft

go out -not. a way out or a starting point

to taste nm a small amount of something that gives you information about the thing it was taken from

________________________________________________________________

What do you think of this story? We want to hear from you. We have a new comment system. Here’s how it works:

  1. Write your comment in the box.
  2. Below the box, you can see four images for social media accounts. They are for Disqus, Facebook, Twitter and Google.
  3. Click on an image and a box appears. Enter your social media account ID. Or you can create one on the Disqus system. It’s the blue circle with “D” on it. It’s free.

Every time you come back to comment on the Learning English site, you can use your account and see your comments and replies. Our feedback policy is here.


Source link

Comments are closed.