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China will start putting together its first manned space station around 2020 and in the first step, a Long March 5B will put the station’s core module into orbit that year.
Next, other components and astronauts will be ferried to the core module to assemble the station.
The space station is expected to be built and become fully operational around 2022 and is set to operate for about 15 years
, according to the China Academy of Space Technology, contractor of the station’s development and construction.
In the 720,000-square-meter Forbidden City－the former imperial palace in the heart
of Beijing officially known as the Palace Museum－there is a courtyard with a distinctively exotic appearance.
The Palace of Prolonging Happiness, or Yanxi Gong, in the east of the palace complex, was us
ed as the concubines’ residence during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. It was sw
allowed by fire in 1845, which almost destroyed the entire courtyard, except for its front gate.
Thanks to a 100 million yuan ($15 million) donation from the Ng Teng Fong Chari
table Foundation, based in Hong Kong, the courtyard will soon be renovated.
In 1909, Empress Dowager Longyu, the de facto ruler of China, order
ed the construction of an aquarium on the site, which used Western-style architecture plu
s Chinese patterns as decorations, in the hopes that this sign of water would prevent fire in the future.