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China plans to send a second space laboratory into orbit this year

China plans to send a second space laboratory into orbit this yearThe Asian power aims to have a permanently manned space station in orbit by the year 2022.

China will place its second space laboratory into earth’s orbit later this year, sources within the country’s space program told state-run media Sunday, furthering its push under President Xi Jinping to become the world’s next space power.

The Tiangong-2, or “Heavenly Palace,” laboratory will eventually dock with a cargo ship called Tianzhou-1 or “Heavenly Vessel” when it is launched early next year, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.

The space lab, adding to the successful launch and operation of Tiangong-1 in September 2011, aligns with China’s roadmap to establishing a permanently manned space station in orbit by the year 2022.

China also plans to send two astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft into orbit to dock with Tiangong-2 by the end of the year.

Construction of the orbiting space station will likely be completed by 2020, a spokesperson for the Asian superpower’s manned space program said.

Source: Time
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