China launches lab module Mengtian as space station approaches completion
China on Monday launched the space lab module Mengtian, taking construction of the country's space station Tiangong into final stage.
The Mengtian module, flying to join the two-module combination already about 400 kilometers above Earth, is the last "building block" that allows Tiangong to form a T-shape structure, the planned layout at the space station's completion.
The new combination is projected to take shape after a succession of elaborately-maneuvered tasks including the docking and the subsequent in-orbit transposition.
The Long March-5B Y4 carrier rocket, carrying Mengtian, blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan, according to the China Manned Space Agency.