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China to launch second space lab Tiangong-2 in Sept

Updated: Jun 26,2016 9:37 AM     Xinhua

WENCHANG, Hainan — 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 program on June 25.

The Shenzhou-11 manned spacecraft will be launched in mid October and its reentry module will return in November, said Wu Ping, deputy director of the manned space engineering office, at a press conference after the successful launch of the Long March-7, a new generation carrier rocket, at Wenchang of South China’s Hainan province.

As part of the country’s space lab program, 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 said.