The module, called Tianhe (Harmony of the Heavens), launched on April 28, atop a Long March-5B Y2 carrier rocket from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch site, is now encircling the Earth.
The National Natural Science Foundation revealed a four-year program is in place to try and work out if they could build such a large ship in orbit. China’s foundation said it was looking at “space equipment for future exploration”. It has the goal of having a “long-term stay” in orbit. China’s state media has revealed that the plans are complicated. Components of the craft would need to be as light as possible to make construction viable.
A large spaceship has never been built in orbit before. The International Space Station would be 10 times smaller than China’s craft. China is currently assembling its space station, just like the ISS, in orbit. The Tianhe module, which is said to be the main section of the dreamed plan, is currently hovering 236 miles above the Earth. China has planned another 11 missions in the next year and a half to finish off building the space station.
Besides this the country also landed Zhurong rover on Mars this year as it competes with countries like the US in a space race to make discoveries on the Red Planet.
ARTICLE: PATEL CHAITANYA
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: SPACE.COM