China National Space Administration (CNSA) is one of the top space agencies working on putting a space station in orbit before the end of this decade. On April 29th, 2021, CNSA launched the Tianhe core module as the major part of its Tiangong Space Station.
The space agency intended to complete the space station by the end of 2022. The agency has commenced on its journey to accomplish this goal. So how will the Tiangong be completed? What are CNSA’s plans for this space station? This article will answer these questions and more.
How is CNSA working on completing its Tiangong Space Station in 2022?
The China National Space Administration (CNSA), founded by the Chinese government in 1993 has made numerous efforts to ensure that it completes the Tiangong Space Station before the end of 2022. The space agency has already planned out six space missions for 2022 to attain this milestone.
After CNSA successfully returned three Astronauts from space on Friday, April 15th, 2022, aboard Shenzhou Spacecraft to earth, the agency is already making plans for the upcoming Shenzhou 14 crewed mission by June 2022. CNSA has returned to space on a robotic uncrewed mission to complete the work that they started last year.
On May 9th, 2022, at 1:56 pm EDT CNSA launched a Long March 7 rocket carrying the robotic Tianzhou 4 Spacecraft. The rocket lifted off from Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in Southern China’s Hainan Province.
The primary goal of this mission is to deliver thousands of pounds of supplies to China’s Tianhe Space Model for the upcoming Shenzhou 14 crew mission which will be coming up later in the year.
The Tianzhou 4 Spacecraft successfully docked with the Tianhe Core module on Tuesday morning, May 10th, 2022. This successful docking brings the completion of the Tianzhou 4 mission to space.
After the Tianhe, the core module of the Tiangong Space Station was successfully launched to space last year, CNSA has sent Tianzhou 2 spacecraft to deliver supplies for Shenzhou 12 crew missions. The core model has also been visited by Tianzhou 3 Spacecraft to deliver supplies for the Shenzhou 13 crews.
Keep in mind that the Shenzhou 13 crew completed their six months mission and returned to earth last April. As CNSA prepares for the Shenzhou 14 crew mission by June 2022, it has to successfully launch the Tianzhou 4 Spacecraft to deliver supplies for this historic upcoming space mission.
According to CNSA, the Tianzhou 4 mission will serve as the sixth of 11 planned space missions to complete the Tiangong Space Station. The agency has already planned to launch the second and third modules of the Tiangong Space Station later in the year to complete the T-shape of the space station.
These second and third modules are named Wentian and Mengtian respectively. CNSA intended to launch these modules during the Shenzhou 14 crew mission. Hence, Chinese Astronauts participating in this mission are expected to work extra hard to complete the T-shaped, three-module orbiting Outpost.
The Shenzhou 14 crew are expected to spend six months aboard the Tiangong Space Station. Before their return to earth later in the year, they will participate in the first crew handover. This implies that the Shenzhou 15 crew will meet the Shenzhou 14 crew to officially accomplish the handover before leaving the station to earth.
Hence Shenzhou 14 crew mission is an important mission to CNSA. The space agency is already putting much effort into ensuring that they make the mission a success. CNSA has already placed the Shenzhou 14 space rocket and spacecraft on standby since last October.
The essence of placing this rocket on standby is to serve as an emergency mission to space if anything goes wrong during the Shenzhou 13 crew mission. But since the Shenzhou 13 mission went as planned, the agency will officially use the Shenzhou 14 space vehicle for its crew mission by next month.
CNSA is working towards completing the Tiangong Space Station anytime soon. Once the station is complete, tourists and Scientists may be allowed to visit the station to experience the weightlessness of space and share their fascinating experiences upon their return to earth.
CNSA has successfully participated in several space missions to complete its Tiangong Space Station. If all goes as planned, the space station will be fully ready and open to tourists and Scientists in a few years to come. What do you think about the design of the Tiangong Space Station?