One of Beijing's ambitious space programs, which has placed robotic rovers on Mars and the Moon and made China the third country to send people in orbit, includes the space station.
Beijing: The most recent development in the ambitious space programme of Beijing was the successful launch of the final module of the Tiangong space station on Monday, according to state media.
One of the pinnacles of Beijing's ambitious space programme is the space station, which has made China the third country to launch people into orbit after the United States and Russia.
According to state broadcaster CCTV, a Long March 5B rocket carrying the Mengtian, or "dreaming of the heavens," module was launched from China's tropical island of Hainan.
From a nearby beach, amateur photographers and space enthusiasts observed the launch, which happened at 3:27 pm (07:27 GMT).
Commander of the Wenchang launch site Deng Hongqin pronounced the launch a "perfect success."
The Mengtian experimental module of the space station has precisely entered the preset orbit, and operational conditions are normal, according to the flight data from the Long March 5B... carrier rocket and the reliable calculations of the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Centre, said Mr. Deng.
He said, "I now declare this launch a total success," as mission personnel rose to applaud one another.
According to Chinese news agency Xinhua, Mengtian is the third and last key component of the T-shaped Tiangong space station. It launches a variety of cutting-edge scientific instruments into orbit, including "the world's first space-based cold atomic clock system."
According to Zhang Wei, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, "if successful, the cold atomic clocks will construct the most exact time and frequency system in space, which should not lose one second in hundreds of millions of years."
The Xuntian space telescope will be launched by Beijing the following year.
In an effort to catch up to major spacefaring nations like the United States and Russia, China has made significant investments in its space program.
Beijing has sent probes to the Moon and has landed a rover on Mars in the past.
Since 2011, when the United States forbade NASA from communicating with Beijing, China has been denied access to the International Space Station (ISS).
Once finished, the Tiangong space station will be permanently manned by alternating crews of three astronauts who will carry out research and assist in the testing of new technology.
Tiangong, which translates to "heavenly palace," will be in operation for about ten years and serve as the site of numerous experiments in almost zero gravity.
It resembles the Soviet-built Mir space station, which circled the planet from the 1980s to 2001.
Edited by: Satyavrat Singh