China plans to launch 2nd space station
In this undated photo shows researchers installing China's first space station module Tiangong-1 inside the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, on the edge of the Gobi Desert. China launched the experimental module on Thursday, Sept. 29 to lay the groundwork for a future space station underscoring its ambitions to become a major space power.
The Associated Press
Published Sunday, February 28, 2016 9:59PM EST
BEIJING -- Rising space power China is preparing to place a second experimental space station into orbit this year followed by a pair of astronauts who will dock with it and live on board for several days.
The government's China Manned Space Agency said Sunday the Tiangong 2 space lab will lift off sometime after June. Shortly afterward, the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft will follow, the latest in a series of crewed Chinese missions that began in 2003.
Next year, the Tianzhou 1 cargo ship will be launched to dock with the Tiangong 2 and provide it with fuel and other supplies.
China launched Tiangong 1, its first space station, in 2011 and plans to construct a permanent station by 2022. China is planning a total of 20 space missions for this year.