China's manned space station project has been officially initiated. A state-level space laboratory with a relatively large scalel and man-tending on a long-term basis will be established around 2020.
According to documents provided by China Manned Space Engineering Office, the space station, weighing about 60 tons, is composed of a core module and two others where experiments will be conducted.
A cargo spaceship to transport supplies will also be developed.
The 18.1-meter-long core module, with a maximum diameter of 4.2 meters and a launch weight of 20 to 22 tons, will be launched first.
The two experiment modules will then blast off to dock with the core module. Each laboratory module is 14.4 meters long, with the same maximum diameter and launch weight of the core module.
China will also develop a cargo spaceship, with a maximum diameter of 3.35 meters and a launch weight less than 13 tons, to transport supplies and lab facilities to the space station.