China’s Low Earth Orbit expansion continues to make impressive progress as they launch the first crewed mission to the Chinese Space Station
The Taikonaut crew will be onboard for a three month mission activating systems, performing experiments and preparing two new science modules for their laboratory, expected to join the CSS in 2022 to extend the station for various scientific and technological experiments. Ultimately, the Chinese Space Station will include 14 internal experiment racks and 50 external ports for studies of the space environment.
Experiments include an Indian–Russian observatory called Spectroscopic Investigations of Nebular Gas, which will map dust clouds and star-forming regions of space using ultraviolet light.
A group of European institutions will study how microgravity and radiation in space affect the mutation of DNA in human ‘organoids’ — 3D biological structures that mimic organs.
And a Saudi Arabian team will test how solar cells perform on the outside of the space station.
At this point, the United States does not have any plans to join the CSS, and with the US planing to cut funding for the ISS in 2024, China’s outpost could become the only laboratory on Earth operating in Microgravity.
And much like the ISS, Tianhe is already visible with the naked eye
For more detailed information on the CSS flight path and location in your area, check out https://www.n2yo.com