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China is planning the Tianzhou-2 cargo project to accompany the launch of the Space Station

The Tianzhou-2 supply project to a shortly-to-deploy space station module has begun with the Long March 7 rocket’s arrival at China’s coastal Wenchang spaceport. The China Manned, Space Engineering Office, confirmed the shipment on Monday, and it is a part of the country’s ongoing plans for the building of a compact space station in the low Earth orbit. China is preparing to deploy Tianhe, a nearly 22-metric-ton spacecraft that will act as the main space station platform, with a Long March 5B launcher. The start date for this mission is set for late April.

The Tianzhou-2 cargo, as well as supply spaceship, will dock with the main module using the newly shipped Long March 7 rocket which uses kerosene-liquid oxygen propellant and has a medium-lift. The Tianzhou-2 project would provide propellant for Tianhe’s orbital altitude maintenance as well as provisions for astronauts. At liftoff, the passenger spacecraft would weigh about 13,000 kilograms, with a cargo weighing about 6,500 kilograms.

The Shenzhou-12 flight, which will deploy from Jiuquan on the Long March 2F rocket, will then send three space-explorers to the Tianhe core module. The Chinese space agency has not given a clear timetable for the forthcoming flights. The Tianhe launch is expected to occur near the finish of April, with Tianzhou-2 project prepared to go by mid-May, based on prior launch initiatives for Long March 5B as well as Long March 7 rockets. Shenzhou-12 may be ready to launch as early as June. Around a week before delivery, the Long March 5B to deploy the central module will be carried out to the launch pad. About 5 days before its later arrival, the Long March 7 will move ahead to a different pad in Wenchang.

China plans to fly 11 times between 2021 and 2022 to complete its three-module space station. Three modules will be launched, with four crewed flights and four-passenger spacecraft stopping by. Twelve Chinese astronauts are scheduled to serve on the four-space station flights, which are currently in planning. According to a senior space staff, a Long March 2F spacecraft is going to be on standby at the Jiuquan to conduct emergency evacuation missions to space stations.

Three astronauts can rotate for six months on the 3-module, 66-metric-ton space station. International programs in biology, space life science, biotechnology, space medicine, microgravity fluid mechanics, microgravity combustion, as well as space developments are among the planned studies. For at least ten years, the outpost would orbit at a distance of 340-450 kilometers. The orbital inclination would be about 43 degrees, allowing crewed launches from the Jiuquan in Gobi Desert to the base. Using obvious backup components, the station could be extended to six modules. Following selection from Tianjin’s northern port city, the materials for the 53-meter-long Long March 7 were shipped to Qinglan port on the Hainan island by the cargo vessel Xu Yang 16.

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