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Tiangong Space Station

Context:

Three Chinese astronauts floated into the country’s new Tiangong space station for a three-month mission.

Relevance:

GS III Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Tiangong Space Station
  2. Features of this Space Station

Tiangong Space Station

  • Tiangong refers to “Heavenly Palace,” and it was 10.4 metres long and 3.35 metres wide at its widest point, weighing 8.6 metric tonnes.
  • It was launched on September 15, 2016, and hosted two Chinese astronauts for 30 days in late 2016, making it China’s longest human space mission to date.
  • The space lab was decommissioned when China’s first space station, Tiangong-1, crashed into the southern Pacific Ocean on April 1, 2018, after Chinese scientists lost control of the ship.
  • Tiangong-1 was launched by China in 2011 as a proof-of-concept for future stations.
  • By the end of 2022, the Tiangong will be completely functioning.

Features of this Space Station

  • Tiangong’s two robotic arms are its most notable feature, and the US has previously expressed alarm about its potential to grasp anything from space, including satellites.
  • Previously, the 10-meter-long arm was spotted successfully catching and moving a 20-tonne Tianzhou-2 cargo ship in a test.
  • The small arm is highly flexible, allowing for more precise operations.

-Source: The Hindu


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