China's manned space agency is launching the first module of its permanent space station into low Earth orbit, and plans to have the entire project completed by the end of 2022. This will render the International Space Station no longer one-of-a-kind.
China is no stranger to spacecraft and even stations as well. The Chinese space agency launched a prototype space station into orbit back in 2011, called the Tiangong 1. The Tiangong 1 was operational for two years and, in that time, received multiple visits. That is until the China National Space Administration (CNSA) lost contact with it due to a technical problem in 2016. The Tiangong 1 then had to return to the Earth but, due to it being out of contact, officials didn't quite know where it would make its entrance. Luckily, it returned over the Southern Pacific Ocean, and had most of its parts burned up during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.
A few years later, the CNSA launched the second version of their space lab project called the Tiangong 2. The Tiangong 2 stayed in orbit for two years, and was deliberately and successfully returned to the Earth after scientists gathered the data they needed from its launch.
Now, the CNSA is working on a permanent space station like the ISS. They are set to launch the first module, called the Tianhe-1 on the 29th of April 2021, and are planning to have the entire space station completed by the end of 2022.
Take a look at the video below by the YouTube channel, Seeker, on China's New Space Station Will Join The ISS In Earth's Orbit.