China on Monday launched a lab module called Mengtian to be part of its space station currently under construction.
It was launched by the Long March-5B Y4, one of China’s largest rockets from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan.
Science equipment on the Mengtian module, the second part of the space station lab under construction by China, will be used to study microgravity and conduct experiments in fluid physics, materials science, combustion science and basic physics, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. .
Wentian’s previously deployed laboratory focused on biological and space science.
Also, Mengtian will host a set of space-based cold atomic clocks in the world including a hydrogen clock, a rubidium clock and a light clock.
”If successful, the cold atomic clocks will create a very accurate system of time and frequency in space, which should not lose one second in hundreds of millions of years,” said Zhang Wei, director of the Utilization Development Center of Technology and Engineering. The Center for Space Utilization under the Chinese Academy of Sciences told the state-run Global Times recently.
China is currently building its space station and according to the announcement of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASTC) its construction is expected to be completed this year.
Two groups of three astronauts were flown to a giant space station called Tianhe for a six-month mission to complete construction.
While one set of astronauts returned the other set of three astronauts were currently based in Tianhe to complete its construction.
When ready, China will be the only country to have a space station. The Russian International Space Station (ISS) is a joint project of several countries.
The China Space Station (CSS) is also expected to rival the Russian-built ISS.
Observers say the CSS may be the only space station to remain in orbit when the ISS retires in the coming years.
A key feature of China’s underdeveloped space station is its two robotic arms, especially the one that the US has long expressed concern about its ability to intercept objects including satellites from space.
(This story is not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is automatically generated by a commercial feed.)