CHINA PLANS TO LAUNCH A LIVE-IN SPACE LAB TOMORROW1 min read

TIANGONG-2 WILL BE HOME TO TWO ASTRONAUTS FOR 30 DAYS

In 2011, Congress ruled that China is not allowed on the International Space Station because of “national security” concerns. Undeterred, the People’s Republic decided to build its own.

News.cn via Spaceflight Insider Tiangong-2 on the launchpad

News.cn via Spaceflight Insider
Tiangong-2 on the launchpad

Tiangong-1, which launched in 2011, was the first step in that direction. The unmanned prototype served as a practice for docking spacecraft, and played host to a short manned mission. Now China’s ready for part 2: sending astronauts to live in space for the longer term.

Tiangong-2 will launch from China’s Gobi Desert at 10:04 p.m. local time on Thursday. A Long March 2F rocket will carry it into orbit 244 miles above the Earth. Then, in October, a crew of two astronauts will travel to the 34-foot-longlab and live there for 30 days.

China National Space Administration via Spaceflight Insider Tiangong-2 is China's next step toward building a permanent research base in Earth orbit.

China National Space Administration via Spaceflight Insider
Tiangong-2 is China’s next step toward building a permanent research base in Earth orbit.

There, they’ll perform “[e]xperiments related to medicine, physics and biology, such as quantum key transmission, space atomic clocks and solar storm research,” Chinese news agency Xinhua reports.

A third module, Tiangong-3, is expected to launch in the coming years. Its design will inform China’s large modular space station, a more permanent installation expected in the 2020s.

Tiangong 3 This CGI of the Tiangong-3 space station shows three Tiangong space station modules, a Shenzhou manned module underneath, and a Tianzhou automated resupply vehicle all docked together. The "super eye" will allow for faster connections and docking between Chinese spaceships.

Tiangong 3
This CGI of the Tiangong-3 space station shows three Tiangong space station modules, a Shenzhou manned module underneath, and a Tianzhou automated resupply vehicle all docked together. The “super eye” will allow for faster connections and docking between Chinese spaceships.

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Sebastien Clarke

Sebastien Clarke

Astronaut is dedicated to bringing you the latest news, reviews and information from the world of space, entertainment, sci-fi and technology. With videos, images, forums, blogs and more, get involved today & join our community!
Sebastien Clarke
Sebastien Clarke

Astronaut is dedicated to bringing you the latest news, reviews and information from the world of space, entertainment, sci-fi and technology. With videos, images, forums, blogs and more, get involved today & join our community!

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