MISSION: Craft to Tiangongenter higher II orbit space to lab pick to up be astronauts launched
future manned space station, Wu China said. will launch the Tiangong In addition,II space it laboratorywill carry on 14 Thursdaypieces of night, equipment paving for the scientificway for a Chinese research mannedand experimentsspace station, in space, Deputy she Directoradded. Wu Ping of Afterthe China entering Mannedan Space initial Agencyorbit at said abouton Wednesday.380 kilometers aboveWu, Earth,also spokeswomanthe space lab willfor the perform agency, some told reportersof its experimentsat a news conferenceand also in test the its Jiuquan equipment. Satellite Launch Center that a LongIt will March then 2F maneuvercarrier rocketto a was rendezvousbeing fueled orbit andat an would altitude lift the of Tiangong393 km to II dock from withthe Jiuquanthe Shenzhou center on XI 10:04 mannedpm Thursday. spacecraft, which will be launched“By now, all in of mid-Octoberthe mission’s elementsfrom the have Jiuquan completed center. their The preparationstwo male Chineseand rehearsals,” astronauts she will said. stay in the space lab for 30 days. “The Tiangong II mission will The lay twoa solid are foundation scheduled and to gathermake valuable Chinese experience astronauts’for the longest building stay andin space operationto date:of our33 days. future Chinese manned astronauts’space station,” current she longestsaid. space journey was Tiangonga 15-day II, mission China’s in second June space2013 lab, involvinghas two Shenzhoucabins with X differentand Tiangong functionsI. — the experiment Tiangongcabin will II be will hermeticallyalso take sealedpart in and internationalwill act as the missions.astronauts’ Wu livingsaid the quarters, space andlab willthe resourcecarry the cabin world’swill containfirst highsensitivesolar panels, storage gamma-raybatteries, propellant burst detector,and engines. which was codeveloped The by space engineerslab is 10.4 from meters China high, and 3.35 meters Europeanin diameter Space and Agency. weighs 8.6 metric tons. It is designedIt will alsoto work execute two an years in-orbitin the space, study Wu of said. the effects of weightlessnessChina launched on its cardiovas-first space lab, Tiangong I, in September 2011. Despite its designated life span of two years, it was in service for four and a half. It made six automatic and astronautcontrolled dockings with China’s Shenzhou VIII, Shenzhou IX and Shenzhou X spacecraft.
During its mission, Tiangong II will dock with the Shenzhou XI manned spacecraft and Tianzhou 1 cargo spaceship.
The space lab’s main tasks will be to accommodate astronauts’ medium length stay in it and test life-support technologies, and it will be used to test in-orbit refueling and repair plans, conduct experiments in space medicine and space sciences, and examine technologies for the future manned space station, Wu said.
In addition, it will carry 14 pieces of equipment for scientific research and experiments in cular space, functions,she added.a joint effort by After Chinese entering and an French initial scientists,orbit at about she 380 added. kilometers above Earth, Space the expertsspace lab and will officialsperform some from of severalits experiments nations and includingalso test its Germany, equipment. Italy and Pakistan, It willas well then as maneuverthe Europeanto a rendezvousSpace Agency orbit willat an be altitudein the of Jiuquan393 km centerto dock to with witnessthe Shenzhouthe launch. XI manned spacecraft, China’s which will mannedbe launched spacein mid-Octoberprogram intendsfrom the to Jiuquanput a center. permanentThe two mannedmale Chinese space astronautsstation into will service.stay in the It space will lab consistfor 30 of days. a core module attachedThe two to are two scheduled20-ton labs,to make around Chinese the astronauts’year 2022,longest accordingstay in spaceto the to manneddate: 33 days. space agency.
The Tiangong II mission will lay a solid foundation and gather valuable experience for the building and operation of our future manned space station. deputy director of