China Unveils New 'Heavenly Palace' Space Station

China Unveils New 'Heavenly Palace' Space Station

China Unveils New 'Heavenly Palace' Space Station

In the Chinese city of Zhuhai within aerospace exhibition Airshow China showed a full-sized model of a future space station Tiangong, which translates as "heavenly Palace". That's significantly smaller than the core section of the ISS, but the additional size does mean Tiangong-2 can support up to three astronauts.

The core module will be 16.6 meters long with a diameter of 4.2 meters.

NASA recently shared a video shot in space aboard the International Space Station that is twice the resolution of those jaw-dropping screens, but it will be a few years before anyone has the hardware necessary to appreciate it. In August, the space station's crew had to plug up an air leak in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft that's now docked to the station. The station, whose construction will be completed in 2022, will be open to astronauts of all countries. China has said it plans to let space agencies from other governments use the station for experiments.

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The station will be able to carry more than 10 tons of scientific and experimental equipment. Earlier this year, the country announced that the lab would be open to "all countries" to conduct science experiments and the European Space Agency has already sent astronauts to China for training so that they can use the space station once it is up and running.

According to state media, some 40 plans from 27 countries and regions have been received from research institutes, universities, and public and private companies that are hoping to utilise the Heavenly Palace as they would have with the ISS.

"Over time, I am sure that China will build successful partnerships", predicts Bill Ostrove, a specialist in space issues at Forecast International, a consulting firm, american.

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"The space market is becoming more diverse", he said, "so it will be hard for one or two countries or companies to dominate the field in the way the United States and Soviet Union did during the Cold War".

"Dominate the space has never been a goal for China", says Chen Lan. It's frankly not as exciting knowing that what you're seeing is only a fraction of what is actually there, but we will never turn down a chance to see more of ISS and its many marvels.

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