China will expand its space station

The Chinese space station “Tiangong”, the construction of which is completed (in November), can be expanded. Officials of the Celestial Empire say this in connection with the possible training of cosmonauts from other countries.

Work on the Tiangong base module in 2021. Source: CMSA/CCTV/Chinese Academy of Sciences

Expansion of the Tiangong station

In November, China completed the assembly of its Tiangong orbital station, adding a third unit to it. The replacement of the crew that occurred after that marked the moment when this orbital outpost became permanently populated.

But, as it turns out, China may well continue its expansion. At least this was stated by Wang Xiang, commander of the space station system at the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (CAST). It happened on December 4, upon the return of the Shenzhou-14 crew to Earth

“Following our current design, we can continue to launch an extension module to dock with the forward section of the space station, and the extension module can carry a new hub for docking with the subsequent space vehicles” .

Future international cooperation

Wang Xiang does not say whether the expansion project of the station has already been approved. However, he notes that additional modules may provide more comfort to the crews if China launches more people into space.

This may be due to China’s promises to make Tiangong an international station. The first Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei, who now holds the position of deputy head of the country’s manned space program, spoke about this in the spring.

Later, Chinese officials announced the possibility of commercial use of Tiangong. But so far, it’s not going further than plans. The only expansion of Tiangong that will definitely take place is the launch of the Xuntian Space Telescope, which will become its solitary part. It will be put into orbit no earlier than the end of 2023.

According to

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