China Becomes the Third Nation to Finish Construction of a Space Station


A render of the Tiangong space station, showing the Mengtian module (left) after docking with the Tianhe module (right) docking hub. “Credit: CMSA”

Elijah Henry, Reporter

As Halloween came and went, so did the festivities and the candy. However, this wasn’t the case for China. On October 31st, 2022, China launched their third and final piece to its space station, the Mengtian Module. This puts China as the third most prestigious major space power in the world, only behind Russia and the USA. 

It turns out that China wasn’t only celebrating Halloween on that day. As construction was completed for the twenty-three-ton module, so was their next step in space exploration. Mengtian docked at the Tiangong space station approximately thirteen hours after launch. Not only did China prove to be worthy of the third most powerful space force, but they also brought along a few special things. One such thing that China brought with them alongside the module was the gear to create the coldest conditions humanity has ever achieved. According to Yang Hong, the chief engineer of Mengtian, they aim to achieve a higher status than the United States when it comes to space exploration and technology.

Higher-Ups at the space station reveal more information about their new module daily. Now, they are able to hold 3 astronauts, 6 individuals during crew rotations. However, they have not launched more people into space yet.

China has completed its space station extraordinarily fast, launching all modules within around one to two years in total, compared to the United States’ 10-year construction and launch of their space station. However, China’s launch wasn’t completely perfect.

According to the New York Times, “These launches have prompted criticism from the United States because China has not demonstrated the ability to control where the rocket’s twenty-three-ton core booster stage, as tall as a ten-story building, will hit Earth on re-entry.” Obviously, this causes some problems and some concern for many places, not just China or the United States. After all, this giant booster has the possibility to hit something important, even if it’s not a high chance. Even so, this event is bound to have celebrations for it’s a relatively big step for their country.

Looking forward, the most informational eras in human history might slowly begin to pass through. And with the U.S., China, and Russia all planting their marks within the skies.