China to launch second space lab in September
Beijing, June 26 (IANS) China will send its second orbiting space lab Tiangong-2 into space in mid September, said a senior official with the country’s manned space programme.
The Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft will be launched in mid September and its re-entry module will return in November, said Wu Ping, deputy director of the manned space engineering office, at a press conference on Saturday after the successful launch of the Long March-7, a new generation carrier rocket, at Wenchang, Hainan province.
As part of the country’s space lab programme, the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft will carry two astronauts on board and dock with Tiangong-2.
The two astronauts have been chosen and currently under intense training, Wu said.
The Tiangong-2 and Shenzhou-11 will be carried by Long March-2F carrier rocket, she said.
In April 2017, the country’s first cargo spaceship, Tianzhou-1, will be launched and carried by the Long March-7, Wu said.
“With the improvement of the rocket’s technological performance, the Long March-7 will step by step replace the current carrier rockets and become the main carrier for space launches,” she added.