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China launches key module of planned space station

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China launches key module of planned space station
China launches key module of planned space station   -   Copyright  (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2021. Click For Restrictions - https://agency.reuters.com/en/copyright.html
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BEIJING (Reuters) – China on Thursday launched a key module of its planned permanent orbiting space station, state media reported, the first in a series of steps needed to complete the station around 2022.

The module, named “Tianhe”, or “Harmony of the Heavens”, was launched on the Long March 5B, China’s largest carrier rocket, at 11:23 a.m. (0323 GMT) from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre on the southern island of Hainan.

Tianhe is one of three main components of what would be China’s first self-developed space station, rivalling the only other station in service – the International Space Station (ISS).

(Reporting by Ryan Woo and Liangping Gao; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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