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China announced on Sunday the successful launch of Wentian, the first lab module of its space station.

On Sunday at 2:22 p.m., a giant, heavy-duty Long March-5B Y3 launch vehicle lifted off from the Wenchang Cosmodrome with a flutter of coconut trees off the coast of South China’s tropical island province of Hainan. Wentian – the country’s first laboratory space station module – into a given orbit.

China launches the Wentian laboratory module for the space station. Photo: Fang Wei/GT

Tiangong is currently hosting three Shenzhou 14 taikonauts who have been on board the Tianhe module for about six weeks, since launching to space on June 5.

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