China unveils its future space station

An unnamed storm system captured from the ISS by a RED Helium 8K

An unnamed storm system captured from the ISS by a RED Helium 8K NASA ESA

It sent up the Tiangong-1, the country's first prototype space lab, in September 2011, where it spent almost seven years in space before plunging back to Earth in April this year amid claims that China had lost control of the station.

The three astronauts will be able to live permanently on board of the spacecraft, with a total weight of at least 60 tons, and equipped with solar panels.

"We're excited to embrace new technology that improves our ability to engage our audiences in space station research", said David Brady, assistant program scientist for the International Space Station Program Science Office at Johnson.

China just showed the world that it's upping its space exploration game with the introduction of the Tiangong Space Station.

China's "Heavenly Palace" Space Station, which boasts a 17-meter-wide core module, besides the other compartments of the station, wants to replace the International Space Station when it is gone.

China is pouring billions into its military-run space programme, with plans to send humans to the Moon in the near future.

The country announced in May that the lab would be open to "all countries" to conduct science experiments.

China has already invited distinguished universities, research institutes, and both public and private companies to propose possible projects.

Several global space agencies launched the main module and first components of the ISS into space over two decades ago.

"I'm sure over time China will be successful developing partnerships", said Bill Ostrove, space analyst with US -based Forecast International consultancy. "But not sure that the u.s. Congress is of the same opinion", says Mr. Chen.

But it has encountered some glitches. It places satellites in orbit, for its own account (Earth observation, telecommunications, gps system Beidou) or for other countries.

But Russia, the European Space Agency, Japan and India will continue to play "major roles" in space exploration, while private firms are becoming increasingly important in the sector, Ostrove added.

Roskosmos said Russian flight controllers plan to reboot the faulty computer - one of the three in the station's Russian module - on November 8.

Latest News