China launches sec­ond space sta­tion

China Daily (USA) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

China has launched its sec­ond ex­per­i­men­tal space lab­o­ra­tory, part of a broader plan to have a per­ma­nent manned space sta­tion in ser­vice around 2022.

The Tian­gong 2 was car­ried into space atop a Long March 7 rocket on Thurs­day night from the Ji­uquan Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter on the edge of the Gobi Desert in north­ern China.

Plans call for the launch next month of the Shen­zhou 11 space­ship with two as­tro­nauts to dock with the sta­tion and re­main on board for a month. The sta­tion, whose name means “Heav­enly Palace,” is con­sid­ered a step­ping stone to a mis­sion to Mars by the end of the decade.

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