China’s Wentian Lab Module to Be Launched This Month

The Wentian lab module, the first lab component for China’s Tiangong space station, will be launched this month, and the Mengtian lab module, the second lab component, has completed thermal vacuum testing, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said on July 12.

The Beijing Aerospace Control Center issued an orbit control command to the space station’s components on July 4, a test preparation for Wentian to dock with the station. According to the plan, the Wentian lab module will be launched at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Hainan.

After docking, the astronauts will enter the Wentian lab module to activate the life support system, assemble experiment cabinets, and carry out cross-scientific research. A new science lecture will be delivered from within the Wentian lab module. The astronauts will also perform spacewalks outside of the lab module.

In addition, the Mengtian lab module has completed all the thermal vacuum tests in Tianjin. Harmful gas collection and noise tests in the sealed cabin have also been finished. During the whole test, the equipment in the lab module and on the ground all function as designed.

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The lab modules, manned spacecraft, cargo spacecraft, relay satellites and the Long March series carrier rockets used to launch these spacecrafts have all been developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.