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China launches new space station module

Intended to host scientific experiments and equipped with a robotic arm

China has launched the second module, christened Wentian, of China's future Tiangong space station. The new piece was carried into space by the Long March 5B rocket, which was launched from the Wenchang aerospace base on South China's Hainan Island.

Three Chinese cosmonauts have been living in the Tianhe module-mother since June. They will be in charge of the expansion operations of the Tiangong orbiting station. The new station is intended to house biology experiments and will be equipped with a small robotic arm. 

The China Manned Space Agency (Cmsa) plans to launch a third module, called Mengtian, in October. This will be dedicated to materials science experiments and technology demonstrations. Both the Wentian and Mengtian modules are dedicated to scientific research in microgravity and are to be docked to the Tianhe module so that, when completed, the structure will be T-shaped.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency