China to launch Heavenly Harmony space station core module

BEIJING (AP) — China plans to launch the core module for its first permanent space station this week. The launch will be the first in a series of missions marking the latest big step forward for the country’s space exploration program. The Tianhe, or “Heavenly Harmony,”  module is set to be hurtled into space aboard a Long March 5B rocket from the Wenchang Launch Center on the southern island of Hainan. The launch could come as early as Thursday night if all goes as planned. In all, 11 missions are slated to build and supply the space station for a three-person crew.