China Launches Core Module of Space Station Planned for 2022

China’s efforts to increase its presence in space received a boost Thursday with news one core module of its planned space station has gone into orbit.

The Tianhe module will act as the management and control hub of the space station, called Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace, with a node that could dock with up to three spacecraft at a time for short stays, according to a local Xinhua media report. The station will operate in the low-Earth orbit and should have a lifespan of around 10 years.

However, this week’s launch is only an early step for China in …

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