Space lab in orbit to dock with manned spacecraft
Chinese scientists have maneuvered the country’s Tiangong-2 space lab to an orbit 393 kilometers above the Earth’s surface in preparation for a planned docking with the Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft next month.
Tiangong-2, which blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the back of a Long March-2F T2 rocket on Sept 15, has already gone through about nine days of on-orbit testing before Sunday’s maneuver, according to Li Jian, deputy head of the Beijing Aerospace Control Center. “All test results suggest the space lab is in good condition,” Li said.
The Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft is expected to carry two astronauts into space to dock with the Tiangong-2 in October. The astronauts will work in the lab for 30 days before returning to Earth.