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The competition heats up: The chief designer of China’s human space program revealed more details today about their planned space station in talking with reporters at China’s on-going parliamentary sessions.
Zhou Jianping, speaking to state media on the sidelines of China’s ongoing parliamentary sessions, explained that the project will include three modules, two 30m solar panel ‘wings’, two robotic arms and a telescope dubbed ‘China’s Hubble’. Zhou, who is a member of China’s top consultative body currently in session in Beijing, said the space station will comprise of a core module and two labs forming a T-shape, each weighing about 20 tons.
The core module is scheduled to be launched in 2018, by the new heavy lift Long March 5 rocket, which will make its maiden flight in September and be capable of lifting 25 tonnes to low Earth orbit.
“China’s Hubble” will be a module flying near the station so that if it needs maintenance the station astronauts will be able to do the work.