China unveils new 'Heavenly Palace' space station as ISS days numbered

Erika Holt
November 9, 2018

"We're excited to embrace new technology that improves our ability to engage our audiences in space station research", said David Brady, assistant program scientist for the International Space Station Program Science Office at Johnson.

The core module, Tianhe, or Harmony of Heavens, will have three parts: the connecting section, life-support and control section, and resources section.

Russia's State Space Corporation Roscosmos confirmed on Tuesday that one of the three computers on the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) had been out of service due to a software glitch.

The space station is now home to two Russians, three Americans and one Japanese.

The International Space Station - a collaboration between the United States, Russia, Canada, Europe and Japan - has been in operation since 1998 and has become a symbol for international cooperation between the world's largest space-faring nations.

China will then have the only space station in orbit, though it will be much smaller than the ISS which weighs 400 ton and is as large as a football pitch.

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Chinese authorities aim to complete the assembly of the space station by 2022 with a projected lifespan of around ten years.

"China will use its space station in the same manner as the partners of the ISS are now using them, research, development of technologies and preparation of crews of chinese to long-duration flights", says Chen Lan, an analyst for GoTaikonauts.com a specialist internet site in the space program chinese.

And China is not keeping the space station all to itself. "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. "Despite a lot of talk of the opposite, the United States remains the most dominant power in space right now", Ostrove said.

"Many countries, and increasingly private companies and universities, have space programs, but can not afford to build their own space station", he said.

"Dominate the space has never been a goal for China", says Chen Lan.

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