China launches second experimental space lab module


China's second experimental space laboratory lifts off from the launch pad in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, September 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

China’s second experimental space laboratory lifts off from the launch pad in Jiuquan, Gansu province, China, September 15, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

China launched its second experimental space laboratory on Thursday (September 15), part of a broader plan to have a permanent manned space station in service around 2022.

Advancing China’s space program is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power, and apart from its civilian ambitions, Beijing has tested anti-satellite missiles.

China insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted its increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.

In a manned space mission in 2013, three Chinese astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with an experimental space laboratory, the Tiangong 1, or “Heavenly Palace”.

China launched its second experimental space laboratory on Thursday, part of a broader plan to have a permanent manned space station in service around 2022.

Advancing China’s space program is a priority for Beijing, with President Xi Jinping calling for the country to establish itself as a space power, and apart from its civilian ambitions, Beijing has tested anti-satellite missiles.

China insists its space program is for peaceful purposes, but the U.S. Defense Department has highlighted its increasing space capabilities, saying it was pursuing activities aimed to prevent adversaries from using space-based assets in a crisis.

In a manned space mission in 2013, three Chinese astronauts spent 15 days in orbit and docked with an experimental space laboratory, the Tiangong 1, or “Heavenly Palace”.

Its successor, Tiangong 2, lifted off on a Long March rocket just after 10 p.m. (1400 GMT) from the remote launch site in Jiuquan, in the Gobi desert, in images carried live on state television.

The Shenzhou 11 spacecraft, which will carry two astronauts and dock with Tiangong 2, will be launched sometime next month.

The astronauts expect to remain in Tiangong 2 for about a month, testing systems and processes for mid-term stays in space and refueling, and conduct medical and other experiments.

The smooth launch imparts a high-tech sheen to week-long celebrations of China’s National Day, starting Oct. 1, as well as this week’s shorter Mid-Autumn Festival holiday that coincides with the full moon.

China will launch a “core module” for its first space station some time around 2018, a senior official said in April, part of a plan for a permanent manned space station in service around 2022.

China has been working to develop its space program for military, commercial and scientific purposes, but is still playing catch-up to established space powers the United States and Russia.

China’s Jade Rabbit moon rover landed on the moon in late 2013 to great national fanfare, but soon suffered severe technical difficulties.

The rover and the Chang’e 3 probe that carried it there were the first “soft landing” on the moon since 1976. Both the United States and the Soviet Union had accomplished the feat earlier.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; editing by Ralph Boulton)

Source: Reuters “China launches second experimental space lab module”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


3 Comments on “China launches second experimental space lab module”

  1. Joseph says:

    The American still thinks that China needs Space X, incapable to even launch space junks into space, for technology. If the Space X’s Dragon rocket is made in China, not just made in USA like those metal stair of Obama’s Airforce One, it would not have exploded along with the junk food it was carrying. But just like Donald Trump, American loves to smear anything bad quality as made in China, just like he smeared that ugly-looking made in America metal stair of Airforce One as bad quality ‘made in China’

    Like

  2. Simon says:

    The BBC reported on this. Remember this is not an opinion piece from an invited expert or a commentator but a statement from the BBC enforcing its views on its readers that included the following
    “If all this makes you worried about China’s long-term cosmic ambitions, then you are not the only one.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-37370278

    Hello! What the hell is the BBC doing when they are suppose to be impartial? Am I worried? Should anyone be worried? Is the BBC worried?
    The only people who might be worried are those who have ambition to attack China. Do the BBC support that intention and suggest all their readers do the same?

    Like

  3. Steve says:

    China’s Spaceship standing on the launching pad really looks impressive and quite handsome when compared to the NASA piggy back spaceship. China’s spaceship has a very well balanced
    appearance.

    Like


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