China successfully launches first module of planned space station | CNN (2023)

China successfully launches first module of planned space station | CNN (1)

See China's latest rocket launch to send a key component of its space station into space

(Video) China launches first module for space station planned for 2022 | DW News

01:04 - Those ones:CNN


For more than two decades, the International Space Station has orbited 227 nautical miles above Earth with more than 200 astronauts from 19 different countries on board.

But its role as the sole venue for aconstant human presence in space, scientific research and a proving ground for future space exploration are coming to an end, potentially signaling the end of an unprecedented era of international space collaboration.

China, whose astronauts have long been banned from the ISS, has successfully launchedthe first module of its planned space stationon Thursday morning from the Wenchang launch site on the southern island of Hainan, according to the China National Space Administration.

The main module, currently the largest spacecraft developed by China, was launched into low Earth orbit by a Long March-5B rocket, marking the first step in China's effort to build its own station within two years.

(Video) Heavenly Harmony: China launches first module of new space station

Russia also announced thisleft the ISS project in 2025and plans to build its own space station, which could launch in 2030 - if Russian President Vladimir Putin gives it the green light.

China successfully launches first module of planned space station | CNN (2)

People watch the Long March-5B launch vehicle lift off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province on Tuesday, carrying the space station's main module.


China's space station won't launch all at once; It consists of several modules that are started at different times.chinese state mediareports that the country's space station will be fully operational by the end of 2022.

The main module has a total length of 16.6 meters (55 feet), a maximum diameter of 4.2 meters and a floor area of ​​50 cubic meters, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, China's new Long March-5B launch vehicle takes off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan Province, May 5, 2020. The Long March-5B completed its maiden flight on Tuesday, sending the test version of China's new-generation manned spacecraft and a payload return capsule into space for testing. (Guo Cheng/Xinhua via AP) Guo Cheng/Xinhua via AP China takes step towards space station with new rocket launch
(Video) China launches first module for space station

It is expected to run for 10 years – which can be extended to 15. Eleven launches, including four manned missions and four cargo missions, are planned over the next two years. The first manned mission is scheduled to be launched in June this year - three astronauts will be placed in orbit for about three months during which the life support and maintenance system will be tested.

It won't be as big as the ISS - about a fifth the size and similar to the Russian oneMir space station, which operated from 1986 to 2001, but must be permanently manned by long-term astronauts.

"We had no intention of competing with the ISS in terms of size," said Gu Yidong, chief scientist of China's Manned Space program.scientific americanas I said.

China launched its first manned spaceflight in 2003 - more than 40 years after NASA. But as the nation has become richer and more powerful in recent decades, its space program has accelerated.

China's space station - the core module is known as Tianhe, meaning Harmony of the Heavens - will provide space and resources for a range of international microgravity experiments. six projectshave been fully accepted so farincluding one on the impact of space travel on cancer tumors, conducted by researchers from Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

IN SPACE - MAY 29: In this flyer provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the International Space Station (ISS) is seen from NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavor after the station and shuttle have welcomed their relatives after undocking begin separation on May 29, 2011 in space. After 20 years, 25 missions and more than 115 million miles in space, NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavor is on the final leg of its final flight to the International Space Station before being retired and donated to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. Captain Mark E. Kelly, husband of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), led the STS-134 mission by deploying the Express Logistics Carrier-3 (ELC-3) and Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-2) delivered . to the International Space Station. (NASA photo via Getty Images) NASA/Getty Images Russia plans to launch its own space station after leaving the ISS

"China wants to show the world and its own people that it is a world-class player in manned space flight and cutting-edge science," said David Burbach, professor of national security affairs at the US Naval War College. Burbach was speaking in a personal capacity, not on behalf of the US Navy.

“International cooperation also helps China's scientific community learn from peers in other nations. Diplomatically, scientific cooperation helps portray China as a normal, cooperative world power, and in the case of cooperation with US allies in Europe and elsewhere, Beijing is likely to appreciate opening a small barrier between those allies and the US.”

(Video) China launches first module for future space station

There has been very little cooperation between the US and China in space. In 2011, the US Congress passed legislation banning NASA from any bilateral contact with people in China's space program due to national security fears.

What's next for the ISS?

What lies ahead for the aging ISS is unclear.

Originally, the ISS was predicted to have a useful life of 30 years. NASA said the space stationviable beyond 2028And it can continue to play a key role in preparing for deeper spaceflight, such as missions to Mars. However, it wants to share the $1.1 billion annual cost of its broader operation with other potential users.

“The hope was to commercialize the station, but it's not clear if much progress has been made or what commercialization would mean in practice. The ISS is probably not ideally equipped as a hotel for space tourists, and it's not clear that there is much commercial interest in using the ISS for zero-gravity R&D," said Burbach.

iss056e201174 (October 4, 2018) --- The International Space Station photographed by Expedition 56 crew members from a Soyuz spacecraft after docking. NASA astronauts Andrew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev flew through the orbiting laboratory to take pictures of the station before returning home after 197 days in space. The station is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the launch of the first element Zarya in November 2018. Credit: NASA/Roscosmos NASA A new toilet, VR camera and science experiments are heading to the space station

“Theoretically, the lack of a buyer could mean, so to speak, abandoning the ISS and taking it out of orbit, leaving it to burn like the Mir Station twenty years ago. I think it will be politically very difficult for the US to give up a permanent presence in Earth orbit when the Chinese *really* have their own station," he said via email.

Burbach said the ISS is much more international than any other space project, with close participation from Russia, Japan, Canada and European countries. However, US-Russia cooperation is unlikely to be the cornerstone of future projects, he said. He also did not expect any softening of the US position on cooperation with China in space.

"The US is returning to the lunar program - Artemis - very international, with ESA, Canada and Japan contributing important components and also bringing in new partners like the UAE," he said, referring to the European Space Agency.

(Video) China successfully launches first module of its ambitious Tiangong Space Station

"The main theme is that the US is strengthening ties with its friends and not using space to try to build a bridge with rivals," he said.


Why did China launch their own space station? ›

Science and a steppingstone. The main function of the Tiangong station is to perform research on life in space.

What was the main goal of the Chinese space program when it launched? ›

JIUQUAN SATELLITE LAUNCH CENTER — Thirty years ago, the Chinese government initiated a secret plan for its space program, including a key goal of building a space station by 2020.

Did China launch a rocket to the space station? ›

Three men were aboard the Shenzhou 15 when it lifted off: Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu. China has sent women into orbit on previous trips, but chose its oldest and most experienced team of astronauts to get the just-completed space station up and running in the next six months.

When did China launch this space station? ›

Shenzhou-15 was the last of 11 missions, including three previous crewed missions, needed to assemble the "Celestial Palace", as the multi-module station is known in Chinese. The first mission was launched in April 2021.

Is China making their own space station? ›

China has completed construction of the Tiangong space station, which will play an important role in their ambitious plans for space activity in coming years. Three taikonauts rode aboard the Shenzhou 15 mission on their way to China's new Tiangong space station.

Why is China not allowed on space station? ›

China has been banned from the ISS since 2011. That's when Congress, citing human rights abuses and national security concerns, prohibited NASA from collaborating with China unless specifically allowed by law.

What are the three most important goals of the space program? ›

Extend human presence deeper into space and to the Moon for sustainable long-term exploration and utilization. Address national challenges and catalyze economic growth. Optimize capabilities and operations.

Does China have a successful space program? ›

With this successful mission, China has become just the third nation to operate a permanent space station. China's space station is an achievement that solidifies the country's position alongside the U.S. and Russia as one of the world's top three space powers.

How did China develop its space program? ›

The technological roots of the Chinese space program trace back to the 1950s, when, with the help of the newly allied Soviet Union, China began development of its first ballistic missile and rocket programs in response to the perceived American (and, later, Soviet) threats.

Did China make the first rocket? ›

Previous scholarship places the rocket's origins in China during the Sung dynasty (A.D. 960-1279). The first known use of the military rocket occurred in 1232 when the Chinese used fei huo tsiang (flying fire lances) against Mongols besieging the city of Kai-fung-fu.

How many modules are in the Chinese space station? ›

The Chinese space station has three modules—the Tianhe core module (“heavenly river” crew module and the laboratory cabin modules Wentian (“quest for heavens”) and Mengtian (“dreaming of heaven”). Tianhe was the first module of the space station to be launched and was launched into orbit on April 29, 2021.

What is China launching into space? ›

China has 14 new satellites in orbit following its fifth launch of 2023. A Long March 2D rocket lifted off from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China on Saturday (Jan. 14) at 10:14 p.m. EST (0314 GMT or 11:14 a.m. Beijing time on Jan. 15).

What is China planning to launch into space in 2022? ›

China sends second Shiyan-10 test satellite sent into orbit with its final launch of 2022. HELSINKI — China has conducted its 64th and final launch of the year, sending the Shiyan-10 (02) into orbit from Xichang spaceport.

What was the first Chinese space launch? ›

Shenzhou 5 (Chinese: 神舟五号; pinyin: shénzhōu wǔ hào, see § Etymology) was the first human spaceflight mission of the Chinese space program, launched on 15 October 2003. The Shenzhou spacecraft was launched on a Long March 2F launch vehicle.

Who went to China first in space? ›

Yang Liwei (Chinese: 杨利伟; born 21 June 1965) is a major general, former military pilot, and former taikonaut at the People's Liberation Army. In October 2003, Yang became the first person sent into space by the Chinese space program.

What country owns the space station? ›

The ISS is not owned by one single nation and is a "co-operative programme" between Europe, the United States, Russia, Canada and Japan, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).

What is China's next space station? ›

China's original, basic plan for Tiangong is to keep the space station occupied and operational for at least 10 years. A co-orbiting survey space telescope named Xuntian is expected to join Tiangong in orbit no earlier than late 2023.

What is the status of the Chinese space station? ›

China launched its first space station module in 2021 and completed the three-module outpost in late 2022.

Does US have its own space station? ›

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest modular space station in low Earth orbit. The project involves five space agencies: those include the United States' NASA, Russia's Roscosmos, Japan's JAXA, Europe's ESA, and Canada's CSA.

Has China sent people to space? ›

China's Shenzhou 15 astronauts take their 1st spacewalk outside Tiangong space station (video) Two Chinese astronauts headed outside of the Tiangong space station on Thursday (Feb. 9) for a seven-hour-long spacewalk, the first of the ongoing Shenzhou 15 mission.

Can China send people to space? ›

China may launch a new vessel capable of carrying its first crewed mission to the moon as early as 2027, according to the head of the country's biggest space contractor.

What is the most important space mission? ›

Apollo 8 was among the most famous of America's space missions – the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth's gravity and reach the moon. The mission conducted a number of tests that were crucial to the lunar landing the following year.

What are some of the benefits of a space program? ›

The direct benefits of exploration include the generation of scientific knowledge, the diffusion of innovation and creation of markets, the inspiration of people around the world, and agreements forged between the countries engaged in exploration.

Which country is most successful in space technology? ›

12 Most Advanced Countries in Space Technology
  • Republic of Korea (ROK) Number of Objects Launched as of 2021: 43. ...
  • Italian Republic. Number of Objects Launched as of 2021: 52. ...
  • Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Number of Objects Launched as of 2021: 53. ...
  • Canada. ...
  • Federal Republic of Germany. ...
  • Republic of India. ...
  • French Republic.
Dec 18, 2022

Why does China want a space station? ›

China is seeking to enhance its capacity for scientific and technological innovation by building a large modular space station. Chinese leaders also hope that research conducted on the Chinese Space Station (CSS) will support their long-term goals for space exploration, including missions to the Moon and Mars.

Why a China space race is a good thing? ›

Main Points. Like during the Cold War, a new space race would spur scientific advancement and collaboration that transforms life on Earth and beyond. Competition with China would compel the United States to invest in its alliances, both with industry and other nations.

What are China's achievements in space exploration? ›

“China's long-term vision for and investment in space has paid dividends in recent years, with notable achievements, including the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, a successful rover landing on Mars and the development of space infrastructure for communications, Earth observation and navigation and ...

What is the Chinese space strategy? ›

Beijing's goal is to become a space power and surpass the United States. China is investing in modern satellite constellations for intelligence and surveillance, high-data rate communications, positioning navigation and timing, and weather forecasting.

Who invented the first space rocket? ›

It is exactly 75 years since Dr Robert H. Goddard successfully launched the first liquid-fueled rocket on 16 March 1926.

Who invented the first rocket in China? ›

The dating of the invention of the first rocket, otherwise known as the gunpowder propelled fire arrow, is disputed. The History of Song attributes the invention to two different people at different times, Feng Zhisheng in 969 and Tang Fu in 1000.

Is China about to launch a rocket? ›

HELSINKI — China's state-owned and commercial space sector actors are planning a total of more than 70 launches across 2023 as the country's space activities continue to expand.

What is the last module of China space station? ›

In October 2022, CMSA prepared to launch the third and final module, Mengtian, to complete the construction for the Tiangong space station. On 31 October 2022, Mengtian module was launched from the Wenchang space center, and docked with the station 13 hours later.

Which 17 countries are selected for China space station? ›

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China's Space Station is the first of its kind to be open to all UN member states and a number of science experiment projects from 17 countries including Switzerland, Poland, Germany and Italy have been included in selected projects for China's space station as of November.

How fast is the Chinese space station? ›

How many satellites has China launched? ›

Of the 4,852 active artificial satellites orbiting the Earth as of January 1, 2022, 2,944 belong to the United States. This is by far the largest number of any single country, with their nearest competitor, China, accounting for only 499.

How many satellites did China launch in 2022? ›

For example, the report notes that eight Shiyan satellites were successfully launched to low Earth orbit in 2022 with unknown missions. “The Shiyan ('Test') satellites are a cover name for various Chinese government satellites,” the report explains.

How many launches did China have in 2022? ›

BEIJING, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- For China's space sector, 2022 was a year of substantial progress and remarkable new records. China completed more than 60 space launches this year, a record high. Among these missions, 53 were conducted by the Long March carrier rockets, the country's backbone launch vehicles.

How many satellites launched by China in 2022? ›

China's main space contractor and Long March rocket maker, CASC, announced (opens in new tab)on Jan. 18 that it is planning more than 60 launches this year, after carrying out 54 missions throughout 2022.

What was the name of the first Chinese space station? ›

Tiangong is a space station that the Chinese Manned Space Agency (CMSA) is building in low Earth orbit. In May 2021, China launched Tianhe, the first of the orbiting space station's three modules, and the country aims to finish building the station by the end of 2022.

What are Chinese astronauts called and when was the first one launched into space? ›

In 1997 China selected 12 military test pilots, all men, for its first group of taikonaut trainees; the first of these to go up in space, Yang Liwei, made a 14-orbit flight in October 2003 on Shenzhou 5.

What country sent it to space first? ›

1, Moscow, USSR, 1958.

How many people China sent to space? ›

As of 2022, sixteen Chinese nationals have traveled in space.

Which country went to space first? ›

Soviet Union

What is China doing in outerspace? ›

China plans to launch a pair of crewed missions to its new space station this year, with supplies also heading to orbit on a Tianzhou cargo ship.

Is the Chinese space station better than the ISS? ›

Tiangong only has three modules, compared with the ISS's 16 modules. This means there's a lot more room for the crew to live and work on the ISS, which typically has a crew of 6, but can theoretically accommodate as many as 13 astronauts onboard. However, the ISS took more than 10 years and 30 missions to assemble.

What is China's goals in space? ›

The overarching ambition is to make China one of the world's main aerospace powers by 2030 and become a fully comprehensive space power by 2045.

Which country is better in space? ›

United States

Which country has best space station? ›

12 Most Advanced Countries in Space Technology
  • Republic of Korea (ROK) Number of Objects Launched as of 2021: 43. ...
  • Italian Republic. Number of Objects Launched as of 2021: 52. ...
  • Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. Number of Objects Launched as of 2021: 53. ...
  • Canada. ...
  • Federal Republic of Germany. ...
  • Republic of India. ...
  • French Republic.
Dec 18, 2022

Who has the best space program in the world? ›

1. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA. At the top of the list stands the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and for all the right reasons. NASA is a United States government agency responsible for science and technology in relation to air and space.

What did China discover in space? ›

Chinese scientists recently announced their discovery of a new lunar mineral among samples collected from the moon during a mission two years ago, adding to the body of knowledge of the Earth's satellite that had been the focus of earlier space exploration.

What is China's space program called? ›

China National Space Administration (CNSA), Chinese Guojia Hangtianju, Chinese government organization founded in 1993 to manage national space activities. The organization is composed of four departments: General Planning; System Engineering; Science, Technology, and Quality Control; and Foreign Affairs.


1. China launches first module of space station as it aims to become major space power by 2030
(The Telegraph)
2. China launches the first module for its future space station
(Down To Earth)
3. China launches module of first permanent space station
(Katrina Yu)
4. China launches first crew to new space station - BBC News
(BBC News)
5. China launches first module of new space station
(The Sun)
6. LIVE | China Launches 1st Space Station Science Module
(Dongfang Hour)


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