Chinese space station: final rehearsal completed for the launch of the Wentian laboratory module


BEIJING (Reuters) – Final rehearsal for the launch of the China Space Station’s Wentian laboratory module was completed on Friday, with every system ready for launch.

The rehearsal was mainly to inspect the various tasks of the launch mission.

The lab module, weighing about 20 tons, is currently packed inside a Long March-5B heavy rocket and sitting on a launch pad at the Wenchang Spacecraft launch site in southern Hainan province.

The first rehearsal took place after Wentian’s laboratory module, and the Long March-5B Y3 carrier rocket was flown to the launch pad on Monday, to test changes in airfields and cumulonimbus clouds during the typhoon season.

According to the test results, the recent weather conditions meet the basic environmental requirements for the launch. The rocket has completed various functional inspections as well as pre-launch preparations.

Twin Launchers

There are now two launch pads at the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site, both used to build China’s space station, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

One platform is for Long-March 7 carrier rockets that send Tianzhou cargo ships into low Earth orbit, bringing supplies to Chinese astronauts or taikonauts in space.

On its top there is a fantastic view of the nearby beach and not far away is its twin launch pad.

The other is used for heavy carrier rockets like the Long-March 5B that launch large space station components like the Tianhe core module.

The Wentian and Mengtian space lab modules will also be launched from this launch pad in July and October, respectively.

“Our launch pad primarily protects our carrier rockets and spacecraft from wind and rain. It provides a platform to review, test and refuel,” said Guo Bang, system engineer from the launch site technical department.

“It can also provide them with proper temperature and humidity in the launch area,” he said.

The two launch pads now complement each other and play a major role in sending the many components of the Chinese space station into orbit and meeting taikonauts.

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