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Inside China’s Tiangong ‘ISS replacement’ with stunning views of Earth and off-planet ‘experimental labs’

CHINA’S newly built orbital outpost Tiangong could soon replace the International Space Station.

And it’s kitted out with two off-planet experimental labs and breath taking views of Earth.


There are already 1,000 scientific experiments from around the world which are lined up to be tested in these capsulesCredit: THE SUN

China announced last week that it plans to launch a crew mission, Shenzhou 16, to the newly operational space station in May.

The country plans to a second crewed rocket to the space station in October, which will also bring supplies.

So, let’s take a look at what the crews – whose identities will remain a secret until the day before their launch – will be met with when they arrive.

First, you enter into the spacecraft, where you’re led into the Tianhe capsule, which is the heart of the station.

The Tianhe capsule has two windows: One looking down towards Earth and another looking upward into the universe.

It also contains all the life support and control systems.

From there, you can access every other capsule in the station.

Capsules Mengtian and Wentian as Tiangong’s experiment rooms.

There are already 1,000 scientific experiments from around the world which are lined up to be tested in these capsules, which have unique access to microgravity.

Scientists on Earth are keen to see how certain materials fare in microgravity.

Researchers are looking to study topics from dark matter and gravitational waves to the growth of cancer and pathogenic bacteria.

Then there’s Tianzhou, which is the ship that deliver cargo and other supplies to the station.

For a full virtual tour, click here.

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