Tiangong-2, China’s second space lab, aboard the CZ-2F rocket carrier, is transferred to the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province on Sept 9.[Photo provided for China Daily]
China’s second space lab, Tiangong-2, is scheduled to be put into space between Sept 15 and 20, according to the China Manned Space Program Office. The space lab was transferred with its carrier rocket to the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province on Sept 9, the office said.
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’s 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.
Tiangong-2, which can enable two astronauts to live in space for 30 days, can receive manned and cargo spaceships and will be used for testing systems and processes for space stays and refueling.
It will also be involved in experiments on aerospace medicine, space sciences, in-orbit maintenance and space station technology.
China’s first space lab, Tiangong-1, which was launched in September 2011, ended its data service earlier this year. It had docked with the Shenzhou VIII, Shenzhou IX and Shenzhou X spacecraft and undertaken a series of experiments.