Chinasuccessfully launched the last module of itsconstruction.
Tiangong space station on Monday , which should allow the structure to be fully operational, as part of its ambitious program in space.
China ‘s desire to build its own space station was fueled in part by the United States’ refusal to accept Chinese into the International Space Station ( ISS ) program, a joint initiative between the United States, Russia, Canada, Europe and Japan.
The module called Mengtian (“dream of the skies”) was launched at 3:27 pm (0727 GMT) by an LM 5B rocket from the tropical island of Hainan (south), according to public television CCTV.
Amateur photographers and space enthusiasts captured the event from a beach near the Wenchang launch site.
“The Mengtian experimental module has accurately entered the predefined orbit,” a mission official, Deng Hongqin, told television a few minutes later.
“I declare this launch to be an absolute success,” said Deng, surrounded by fellow enthusiasts in the control room.
Mengtian is the third and last major element of the T-shaped Tiangong space station .
Tiangong (“Heavenly Palace”), similar in size to the former Russian-Soviet Mir station, should have a lifespan of at least 10 years.
It must also allow China to maintain a long-term human presence in space .
Its assembly has required a total of eleven missions. The last one this Monday allowed the transfer of state-of-the-art scientific equipment.