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China’s second space lab Tiangong-2 to be launched

Updated: Sep 9,2016 3:53 PM     Xinhua

JIUQUAN — China’s second space lab Tiangong-2 is scheduled to be put into space between Sept 15 and 20, according to the office of China’s manned space program.

The space lab was transferred with its carrier rocket to the launch pad at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China on Sept 9, said a statement from the office.

It took 90 minutes to complete the transfer from the assembling center to the launch pad.

“The completion of the transfer signals that the space lab Tiangong-2 mission has entered its launching stage,” it said.

Technicians completed testing on the assembling of the lab and the rocket after they had been separately delivered to the launch center in July.

In the next few days, the launch center will continue testing rocket and inject propellent before the launch.

Tiangong-2, which can enable two astronauts to live in space for 30 days, is capable of receiving manned and cargo spaceships and will be used for testing systems and processes for mid-term space stays and refueling.

It will also be involved in experiments on aerospace medicine, space sciences, on-orbit maintenance and space station technologies.

China’s first space lab Tiangong-1, which was launched in September 2011, ended its data service earlier this year. It had docked with Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 spacecraft and undertaken a series of experiments.

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