Tiangong Space Station

Tiangong Space Station

News: Three Chinese astronauts docked at the country’s space station on Sunday.

About:
• The space station will operate in low-Earth orbit at an altitude of 340-450 km above Earth’s surface.
• Tiangong, which means ‘heavenly palace’, is expected to become fully operational by the end of the year and is set to be operational for at least 10-15 years

Significance:
• The low orbit space station would be the country’s eye from the sky, providing round the clock bird’s-eye view for its astronauts on the rest of the world.
• It shall aid China’s aim to become a major space power by 2030.
• It replicates the International Space Station (ISS), from which China was excluded.

What are the other planned space stations?
• Lunar Gateway – It is joint project of NASA, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and Canadian Space Agency (CSA). It envisages to be first space station beyond low Earth orbit and the first space station to orbit the moon.
• The Russian Orbital Service Station
• Starlab – Is the name given to the planned LEO space station designed by Nanoracks for commercial space activities use.
• Indian Human Spaceflight Programme - India plans to deploy a 20-tonne space station as a follow-up programme of the Gaganyaan mission, it will be deployed in 5–7 years after the completion of the Gaganyaan project.

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