China are currently busy making history at this very moment in time as they launch Tiantong 1 the first piece of China’s first planned space laboratory!
Tiantong 1 is being put in to orbit as we write this and will serve as the base for China’s first space station.
While the space station is mainly designed for use as an international space laboratory for scientist to conduct zero G experiments, the station could also be used as a launchpad for manned missions to the Moon and possible Mars.
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Tiantong 1 is planned to orbit the earth for the next two years and acts as the construction base for the main Chinese Skylab. While in orbit the module will rendezvous and dock with China’s Shenzhou-8, -9 and -10 spacecrafts.
Tiantong 1 was originally scheduled for an 18th August launch, which was rescheduled due to improvements being made to the Long-March 2-F rocket, after a failed launch of an experimental orbiter.