China successfully launched its second module, named Ventian, into the Tiangong space station early on Sunday morning. space news) Wentian launched from Wenchang Space Launch Site in Hainan, China at 2:22 AM ET (2:22 PM local) aboard a Long March 5B rocket approximately 13 hours later at 3:13 PM ET (3:13 AM) at Tiangong Space docked at the station. local).
The Ventian module contains instruments that allow the Chinese astronauts, also known as tychonauts, to perform various scientific experiments during their time on the station. as noted by new York TimesThe additional module will also provide three additional places to sleep, as well as another airlock that crew members can use to perform spacewalks.
In June, China sent a three-man Shenzhou 14 crew to Tiangong to prepare for Wentian’s arrival. Mengtian, the station’s third and final lab module, is set to launch on the Long March 5B in October. This will complete the Tiangong space station, forming a T-shaped structure once the final module is docked.
There are some concerns about where the giant Long March 5B rocket will end up now, although it carried the Ventian. While most rockets drop their lower stages safely down into the ocean, these types of rockets work differently. as space news Notes, it delivers its payload by launching its entire first stage into low-Earth orbit, with no way to redirect or control its movement when it crashes to Earth.
In 2020, rockets were to blame for metal debris in Cte d’Ivoire. After the Tianhe core module was delivered to space last year, it began an uncontrolled landing in the Indian Ocean.