Space station to be showcased at air show

By Liu Yang and Xu Hailin Source:Global Times Published: 2018/10/23 23:13:40

Beijing welcomes UN member states to submit research projects

The core module of China's space station. Photo: courtesy of CMSEO

A mock-up module of China's future space station will debut at the weeklong Zhuhai Airshow next month in what Chinese observers dubbed a global invitation to hop aboard China's space research.

A model of the core module of China's Tianhe, or Harmony of the Heavens, space station will exhibit at the November 6-11 show in South China's Guangdong Province, the China Manned Space Engineering Office told the Global Times in a statement on Tuesday.

The Tianhe station will include a core module and two lab modules, with ports for multiple spacecraft to dock, said the statement. 

Weighing more than 20 tons each, the modules are designed for three astronauts or six during crew rotation. The 16.6-meter-long core module includes a utility hub and a resources module.

Capable of long-term autonomous operation, the core module is the integrated control unit of the space station, the living area and the place for medical and space science experiments.

Cabinets inside and outside the modules can support scientific research and application projects in space science, space life science, biotechnology, microgravity fundamental physics and space materials. An optical telescope will orbit near the station and can dock for maintenance, the office said.

China's crewed space station is scheduled for completion by 2022 and will orbit for more than 10 years.

China welcomes all member states of the United Nations to jointly utilize its future space station, the Xinhua News Agency reported in May, annoucing the move further demonstrated China's unwavering belief that outer space is a common home for all humanity rather than a new battlefield. When the International Space Station retires in 2024, China's station may be the only one left in orbit.

The Chinese lab has received more than 40 project suggestions from 27 countries and regions, China Central Television reported on Tuesday.

Suggestions will be weighed, selected and implemented, the report said.

Opening China's space station to the public comes at a time when the key technologies for its construction are complete, Jiao Weixin, a space science professor at Peking University, told the Global Times.

Although smaller than the international space station, China's space station will also support space science, bioscience and microgravity research, Jiao said.


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