China to launch second space lab

This year, China will launch another space lab, with the name Tiangong-2, or Heavenly Palace-2. The launch is another step for China toward building its own space station.

According to China’s Xinhua news agency, Heavenly Palace-2 will be launched in the third quarter of this year. Later, China plans to bring two astronauts to the space lab with the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft. The country will test launch the Long March 7, a rocket it is developing to carry a cargo spacecraft in early 2017.

Since it sent its first satellite into orbit in 1970, China has invested billions in its space program. It sent its first astronaut into space in 2003. China plans to complete the construction of the country's first orbiting space station around 2020.

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Image by DLR, via Wikimedia Commons

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