China has launched the Tianhe core module of its space station from the launch facility on Hainan island. The module contains life support equipment and living space for astronauts. Eleven more modules will be launched to make up the Tiangong space station which will become operational next year.
It will be in service for about 15 years and will be positioned between 400 and 450 km above Earth. Weighing a little over 90 tonnes, it will be a quarter the size of the international space station. China has launched the Tiangong Lab in 2011 as the groundwork for a permanently crewed station. That disintegrated as it fell back to Earth in 2018.