Credit: CNSA/CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

China is launching its Mengtian lab module, the final section of the country’s space station. All is in readiness at the Wenchang Space Launch Site in south China’s Hainan Province.

China is reportedly set to launch the Mengtian module on October 31 at 3:35 a.m. Eastern time. The lab module will be boosted skyward atop its carrier rocket, a Long March-5B Y4.

Next up! China’s Mengtian lab for the country’s space station.
Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Microgravity research

If successfully hurled spaceward, Mengtian (“dreams of heaven”) will join its sister module, the now attached Wentian module. The new addition will form the final section of the T-shape structure of China’s Tiangong space station.

Primarily, Mengtian contains scientific experiments focused on microgravity research in fluid physics, materials and combustion science, basic physics and aerospace technology.

The construction of China’s space station will be completed this year, followed by the formal application and development phase.

Credit: CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

Pre-launch test

A just-completed pre-launch test assessed the functionality of the Mengtian and the coordination between different systems prior to liftoff. The Saturday test involved the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, the Wenchang Space Launch Site, the Xi’an Satellite Control Center in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, and all the monitoring stations and vessels related to the launch, according to the China Central Television (CCTV).

In-construction: China’s space station.
Credit: CMSA/CCTV/Inside Outer Space screengrab

“We continue to review equipment and facilities in all systems and take solid steps to ensure a ‘zero-time-window’ launch. Currently, the equipment and facilities are in good condition and the weather on the launch day meets the requirements. We have confidence and determination to ensure a safe, punctual and successful launch,” said Zhong Wen’an, chief engineer of the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

Livestream launch

The currently onboard Shenzhou-14 crew consists of Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe. They were sent to the space station on June 5 for a six-month mission.

A Dongfang Hour Livestream of the Mengtian launch via CCTV and a deep dive about the module can be viewed at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YAd2eSuHaM

Also, go to these videos about the upcoming launch at:

https://youtu.be/3avN2P_CtV0

https://youtu.be/m6yRMnHiwhA

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