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Luxury Space Lab: Chinese Astronauts Get an Upgrade in Space

Sep 19, 2016 05:25 AM EDT
China Launches Its First Space Laboratory Module Tiangong-1
China's newly launched space lab boasts of advanced systems to provide luxury and comfort for astronauts manning the station.
(Photo : Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Will China be the next space giant? Although it is still far before it can be confirmed, China has proven that they have the means to become one.

With the successful launch of their second space lab Tiangong-2 last week, China is all the more confident that they can achieve their ambitious goal. After the Chinese space station settles in orbit, another mission will follow suit to carry two astronauts that will man the space lab more luxurious and comfortable.

The main function of the second Chinese space lab is to study physics in space including a total of 10 gamma rays per year.  But aside from innovative science equipment, the space lab is also equipped with features to double as a comfortable living space for astronauts.

Reports say that Chinese astronauts will experience an upgrade when it comes to their temporary habitat in space, the second Chinese space lab Tiangong-2. Next month, two astronauts will be sent to man Tiangong-2, a space station said to be equipped with technologies that are considered luxury in space such as Bluetooth connection, advanced lighting systems, innovative sound systems and state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

Tiangong-2 promises to provide more comfortable living conditions while the astronauts perform their space duties. Compared to Tiangong-1, the new space lab is better when it comes to technology and comfort. The two astronauts will fly to space next month to perform various experiments in microgravity inside the Tiangong-2 space lab launched last Sept. 15.

"We considered many factors including the sound, lighting, inner decorations as well as support facilities. For instance, we installed a foldable, multifunctional table that can be used for dining and experiments. We also equipped the astronauts with Bluetooth headsets and Bluetooth speakers," Zhu Zong Peng, the chief designer of Tiangong-2 at the China Academy of Space Technology said in a statement.

The agency said that carpets were changed into floorboards and the light is softer with adjustable brightness compared to Tiangong-1. The second Chinese space lab has a space for science experiments, living quarters and a resource cabin for storage batteries, solar panels, the propellant, and engines.

In terms of sound, engineers installed muffler devices to keep cabin sound under 50 decibels while the temperature will be kept between 22 degrees Celsius and 24 degrees Celsius. For safety, Tiangong-2 is also equipped with air detector capable of checking for hazardous gasses and microbes.

But the engineers also recognized that living in space is not entirely spent on scientific experiments, that is why good exercise equipment like a treadmill, exercise bike and an oriental-inspired acupuncture point massager was also installed inside the space lab.


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