China unveils its new space station 'Heavenly Palace'

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China unveiled on Tuesday a replica of its first permanently crewed "Heavenly Palace" (Tiangong) space station that will be composed of three parts-a core module attached to two space labs-having a combined weight of more than 90 metric tons, the academy said., space station, which would replace the global community's orbiting laboratory and symbolizes the country's major ambitions beyond Earth. At the moment, the station is the only operational space laboratory in orbit. Despite the odd mishap, the station is constantly occupied and is a hub for ongoing multidisciplinary experiments that are quite literally out of this world. However, China's space agency unveiled the new core module for the station at an airshow this week, indicating that it plans to do a lot more with the station in the future.

The new station will technically belong to China, but will open its doors to all United Nations countries. The Tiangong, meaning "Heavenly Palace" in English, could reportedly replace the International Space Station in 2024.

Tiangong slightly smaller than the ISS, which is in value about the same as an American football field.

Crowds gathered around the cylindrical space station module representing the living and working quarters of the Tiangong or "Heavenly Palace" which will also have two other modules for scientific experiments and will be equipped with solar panels.

The European Space Agency has also sent astronauts to China to prepare to work inside the Tiangong Space Station. "The possibility for them (thanks to China) to send payloads on a platform of manned flight and conducting experiments is something that's extremely valuable", he observes.

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"There is no doubt that China will use its station in a similar way as the ISS partners are using their outpost: research, technology and as a stepping-stone for deep-space exploration", said Chen Lan, a reporter at GoTaikonauts.com news portal which is a collaborator of the Chinese space program.

Institutes, universities, and public and private companies were invited to submit projects.

"Many countries, and increasingly private companies and universities, have space programs, but can not afford to build their own space station", he said. "I'm sure over time China will be successful in developing partnerships", he said.

Alternatively the money could be used to speed up planned human space initiatives to the moon and Mars.

Roscosmos said the two other computer systems are sufficient for safe operation of the station indefinitely, but it wants the third one back online "to ensure the reliability" of next week's scheduled docking with an uncrewed Russian Progress cargo spacecraft.

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