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ISS Rival- China Space Station Key Module Launched into Orbit

China space station is now getting ready for launch,  as the tests are speeding up. International Space Station now has competition now that China Space station is getting warmed up with the launch. 

First element of Chinese space station ready for liftoff –

Image credits- Spaceflight Now

Last week on Thursday the Space station in China launched a key module into orbit. This is only a part of a series of upcoming missions which are expected to complete by 2022.

Previous launches 

The one launched recently, on April 29th is known as Tianhe, meaning “Harmony of heavens”. It is a 21 ton 5b rocket launched from the Island of Hainan. Also, the Wenchang Launch Center is the main launch site for the China Space station. 

Spaceship prototype- In 2016, the space station launched “Tainzhou-1” with two astronauts. And eventually, by 2017 these astronauts were shifted to “Tainzhou-2”. 

Prior to that, they have sent three astronauts, who lived in space for two weeks. However, this experimentation has been going on for a decade. And now the process is expected to speed up. 

In the coming months of May and June, the space station is scheduled to launch Tianhe, supplying supplies for the astronauts. And in June they are set to send three astronauts to stay in space for three months. 

China banned by the US to send astronauts 

In 2011, the US policy banned the Chinese government or any other organization linked with China to be launched by NASA. That was when China Space Station sent its first “Tiangong-1”. 

Back in 1999, China was accused of stealing technical information from American companies. Which eventually led to improving China’s commercial Satellite. 

By 2011, after many allegations, the country was banned. Eventually leading to a launch by China Space Station in 2011. 

Will this launch work for China?

As stated in Business Insider, the 21-ton rocket may burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. It is a 100 feet long, 16 feet wide rocket. If the rocket bursts it is likely to fall on earth. So far, it isn’t considered that the large chunks would fall anywhere other than the ocean. 

As said by an astronomer, Jonathan McDowell, “I think by current standards it’s unacceptable to let it reenter uncontrolled. Since 1990 nothing over 10 tons has been deliberately left in orbit to reenter uncontrolled.” 

Furthermore, Holger Krag, head of the space safety program office for European Space agency added, “It is always difficult to assess the amount of surviving mass and number of fragments without knowing the design of the object. But a reasonable ‘rule-of-thumb’ is about 20-40 % of the original dry mass.” 

If the rocket is to fall off, as said by Jones, it could fall anywhere near New York, Beijing, Madrid, South Chile, and New Zealand. 

If this launch were really to fail that badly, China’s future scope of being a rival for the International Space Station might no longer be there. 




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