hinese scientists successfully launched the Tianhe, the core module of China’s first space station to near-Earth orbit on April 29, marking the first stage of space station construction which is planned to be completed by 2022.
Weighing 22.5 tons with a volume of 50 cubic meters, the Tianhe, the Xinhua News Agency reported, will serve as the management and control hub of the space station Tiangong, or “Heavenly Palace.” Scientists revealed the module has docking nodes when spacecraft transport personnel and materials to the station.
The station will be in a T-shape with the Tianhe module at the center and a lab module on each side. It is designed to support long-duration missions with three astronauts who will conduct experiments inside and outside the labs. China plans to launch the two lab modules called Wentian and Mengtian in 2022.