China Initiates Space Tests of Own Space Station’s Lab Modules
China's steady push into space only grew more significant with the addition of another milestone. Engineers have completed tests on their own space station's propulsion system, paving the way for further tests toward the completion of China's space station program.
This is a major breakthrough after China made milestones in its space program. It has broken the national record for space launches, according to NDTV. China previously eyed extending its range to the stars with a space station of its own. An experimental lab was already set up for this, and the country sent two astronauts to check on the lab and how it's doing.
Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, Chinese astronauts, went to the space lab Tiangong-2 during what was touted as the 'longest-ever manned' mission in space. The space station is nearing the end of its service life, but not before China makes the most out of data collected from it. The space station will be fitted with two lab capsules, as well as a core module.
The propulsion system in place is to help determine whether the lab capsules can be moved in space or not. This suggests moving these modules to perhaps observe certain occurrences in space, or to collect data on wherever part of deep space it is faced. The propulsion system seems to aid in that.
The engineers designed these engines-all 36 of them to adjust the space station's orbit. Space Daily reports four of them is dedicated to that action, with 32 to compensate for creating a good angle to the flight altitude. Each one of the engines is designed to keep working until 15 years, this according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC.)
The space station is an answer to the International Space Station (ISS), an international space lab with China as one of the contributing nations. The ISS is nearing the end of its space life, with its expected retirement set around 2024.
In tests-and in theory-the engines have passed with flying colors. It is part of the experimental space station now, with an expected life of around 2020, after which China's own manned space station will replace it. By 2022, the space station will be complete, with the Tianhe core capsule the remaining module still here on Earth, waiting to be brought in space through a launch mission.