China Takes A Step Closer To Rival NASA's ISS, Launches Final Piece Of 3-Module Space Station Into Orbit

China launched the third and final module to complete its space station — set to be the second permanently inhabited outpost in low-Earth orbit alongside the NASA-led International Space Station.

What Happened: On Monday, China launched the uncrewed Mengtian, or "Dreaming of the Heavens" module, atop its most powerful rocket, the Long March 5B, from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in the southern island province of Hainan, reported Associated Press. 

See Also: iPhone Shipments From China Plant To Decline 30% In November As COVID-19 Woes Hit Apple's Largest Supplier

China, in April 2021, began construction of its space station and launched the Tianhe module, the main living quarters for astronauts. This year, in July, it launched Wentian, aka "Quest for the Heavens," a laboratory module for performing scientific experiments.

"The space program is a symbol of a major country and a boost to the modernization of China's national defense," Ni Lexiong, a professor at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said.

"It is also a boost to the confidence of the Chinese people, igniting patriotism and positive energy," Ni added.

China also plans to launch the Xuntian space telescope next year, which will orbit in sequence with the station and can occasionally dock with it for maintenance.

Check out more of Benzinga's Europe and Asia coverage by following this link.

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: NewsGlobalTechChina space stationEurasiaInternational Space Station
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!