Out of This World! China Begins Testing Tiangong-2 Space Lab

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China has completed the assembly and started testing its Tiangong-2 space laboratory, local media said on Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — With assembly complete on Monday, experts began adjusting mechanisms and testing the module's systems, the China Central Television (CCTV) national broadcaster reported.

China's Long March 2-D carrier rocket carrying a Chinese-made satellite takes off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province Monday, Nov. 3, 2003 - Sputnik International
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The launch of Tiangong-2 is planned for the second half of 2016. The module set to replace the Tiangong-1 prototype, which has been in orbit since 2011. The module will later be docked with a cargo spacecraft which is set to launch in 2017.

The Tiangong 2 space laboratory is designed to probe life support technologies for Beijing’s future space station.

In early January, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said that Beijing will conduct over 20 space missions in 2016, including the launch of a manned spacecraft.

China is also expecting to launch two satellites for domestic navigation systems and one communications satellite for Belarus.

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