China Launches Tiangong-2 Space Station

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China has launched its second space lab, taking one step further in Beijing’s plan to establish a permanent space station.

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According to CCTV America, Tiangong-2 will orbit 393 kilometers above the earth. The Shenzhou 11 spacecraft, carrying two astronauts, will dock with Tiangong-2 in October. The cargo ship Tianzhou-1 will dock with Tiangong-2 next year to resupply the space station.

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Tiangong-2 is expected to monitor the earth while conducting conducting scientific experiments.

It will also measure the topography of the oceans in order to study earth’s gravitational field, the TeCake reported.

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The Tiangong-2 and its predecessor, Tiangong-1, are prototypes for China’s ultimate goal — a permanent 20-ton space station, which is expected to launch after 2020.

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China’s first space laboratory, Tiangong-1, was launched in 2011 and has been in good working condition ever since.

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