China could launch the first module for the Tianhe space station today

China is preparing to send the first module into space for its space station. This is the core of the Tianhe / Heavenly Harmony space station. It could be released tonight, April 29, if all goes according to plan. This is just one of 11 total missions scheduled to orbit the space station.

The Tianhe station will be built of three different modules

China has been investing heavily in space exploration lately. The company has recently sent missions to the Moon and Mars and plans many other such missions. The current plan is for the Tianhe space station to be fully assembled by the end of 2022. Compared to the International Space Station, Tianhe will be much smaller in size, with a total weight of 66 tons and hosting capacity for three astronauts.

In comparison, the total construction of the International Space Station now weighs 450 tons, to which new capsules can be added. In theory, China’s station could also be expanded in the future with new modules, having already designed a port that can be connected to a satellite of the country.

The launch will be carried out using Long March 5B missiles from the Wenchang launch center in Hainan. The main module of Tianhe will be the size of the Russian space station Mir, and the other two modules that will be launched next year will expand the available space. The remaining eight missions will be dedicated half to manned flights and half to supply the necessary equipment and supplies. 12 astronauts are already training for these missions.

China currently has an ongoing mission to Mars, where it could become the second country in the world after the United States to successfully land on this planet. In 2024, China plans to bring back samples from the Moon to Earth, where it wants to establish a scientific base sometime in the future.

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