China’s space station expected to reach international standard: Chief engineer

Certain technologies used to build China’s first space station, the Tiangong, are expected to surpass those used in establishing the International Space Station (ISS), chief engineer of China’s manned space program Zhou Jianping said on Wednesday.

The Tiangong space station, planned to be established by 2022, is set to approach the ISS in terms of information, energy and power technology related to its construction and lower operation costs, Zhou said.

Zhou also revealed that the basic structure of Tiangong consists of a core cabin and two lab cabins. These three cabins will weigh a total of 66 tons, with the capacity of carrying three pilots, he added.

The optics cabin, which will share the space station’s orbit, will have the same camera definition as the Hubble Space Telescope and a field of view 200 times wider than the latter.

The longevity of the space station will be more than 10 years, Zhou said. The station will be opened for attracting investments and other commercial activities when it begins operation.