Second space lab will be launched in third quarter
China will send its second orbiting space lab, Tiangong-2, into space in the third quarter of this year, sources from the manned space program said.
China also plans to launch the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, which will carry two astronauts, in the fourth quarter of this year to dock with Tiangong-2, according to the program’s spokesperson.
A next- generation Long March-7 rocket will put the country’s first cargo ship Tianzhou1into space in the first half of 2017 to dock with Tiangong-2 and conduct experiments.
During the process, China will verify key technologies, including cargo transportation, on-orbit propellant resupply, astronauts’ medium-term stay, as well as conduct space science and application experiments on a relatively large scale, the spokesperson said.
China’s multi-billion-dollar space program aims to put a permanent manned space station into service around 2022.