China unveils new ‘Heavenly Palace’ space station as ISS days numbered

An unnamed storm system captured from the ISS by a RED Helium 8K

An unnamed storm system captured from the ISS by a RED Helium 8K

"It will not affect the operations on board the orbital outpost as the standard cyclogram allows us to work with only two computers and still be able to fly for an indeterminately long time", Roscosmos said in a statement. There will also be a hatch for astronauts' extravehicular activities.

"We're excited to embrace new technology that improves our ability to engage our audiences in space station research", said David Brady, assistant program scientist for the International Space Station Program Science Office at Johnson.

In the future, Tiangong should join the other two module intended for scientific experiments, solar panels.

China is pouring billions into its military-run space programme, with plans to send humans to the Moon in the near future.

"Viewers can watch high-resolution footage from inside and outside the orbiting laboratory right on their computer screens", NASA says.

In 2024, it will become the world's only space station if the United States-led International Space Station is retired that year as planned.

The space station is expected to be fully operational around 2022. It will have 26 internal payload cabinets, 67 external hatches created to dock with medium-sized extravehicular apparatuses and four external points for towing large instruments, according to designers.

China will then have the only space station in orbit, though it will be much smaller than the ISS which weighs 400 ton and is as large as a football pitch.

Institutes, universities, and public and private companies were invited to submit projects. The country's state media reported that China had received around 40 plans from 27 countries and regions.

This 3-minute video was captured aboard the International Space Station using a RED Helium 8K camera, and it shows the astronaut residents living, working, and conducting research.

"Many countries, and increasingly private companies and universities, have space programs, but can not afford to build their own space station", he said.