It has become known that China has launched the Wentian laboratory module to the national orbital station. The launch took place at 14:22 local time (09:22 Moscow time) from the Wenchang space station by the Long March-5V launch vehicle. TASS news agency reports this, referring to China Central Television.
According to reports, the Wentian laboratory module weighs about 20 tons and is about 18 meters long. The module is intended for use as a biological research laboratory. It also has three bedrooms, a bathroom and a kitchen. Once Wentian is operational, the station will be able to accommodate up to six taikonauts during crew changes. The arsenal of the new module also includes a small robotic arm, which, although much smaller than the manipulator installed on the Tianhe, has a higher position, which will allow for more complex operations.
Let’s remind that Wentian is the first of two laboratory modules that China plans to deploy in its orbital station. It is expected that the second laboratory module called “Mengtian” will go into space in October of this year. When it is operational, the construction of the station will be completed and will have the shape of a T. The Chinese orbital station is located at an altitude of about 400 km. It is intended for three or six people to stay for a short period of time when changing crews. It is assumed that the station will serve for 10 years.