Core module of China’s space station.
Credit: CMS/Inside Outer Space screengrab

China’s space station core module — Tianhe (harmony of the heavens) – has passed a factory review and is scheduled for launch this spring.

China’s space station expected to be completed by around 2022. Credit: CMS/Inside Outer Space screengrab

The China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) reported on the completion of the factory review. Also passing muster is the project’s Tianzhou-2 cargo craft and the core module mission products of the space application systems.

The space station will now enter the implementation phase, the CMSEO statement said.

Testing of Tianhe core module.
Credit: China Manned Space Agency (CMS).

China’s Xinhua news agency adds that China is scheduled to complete the in-orbit construction of the space station around 2022, after carrying out 11 flight missions this year and next, including three launches of different modules, four launches of cargo craft and four launches of piloted craft.

Credit: People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)

Tracking ship

Meanwhile, China’s spacecraft tracking ship Yuanwang-7 is sailing to the Indian Ocean, beginning its first maritime monitoring mission this year.

Xinhua also reports that Yuanwang-7 has been developed with the latest technologies in shipbuilding, space monitoring, marine meteorology and shipping power.

Since it was put into use in 2016, the ship has completed maritime missions for tracking space lab Tiangong-2, the Chang’e-4 lunar probe and the country’s BeiDou navigation satellites.

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