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2016 a crucial and busy year for China's space program


04-12-2016 13:02 BJT

2016 will be a crucial and busy year for China's space program. The country is accelerating its space program and verifying key technologies. China's multi-billion-dollar space program aims to put a permanent manned space station into service around 2022. The Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center says they are gearing up for this year's missions. 
"We have never carried out such intensive space missions like this year, which has posed new challenges for us.  The Tiangong-2 space lab will be sent into a new orbit that is higher than any of those sent before. To ensure the success of the mission ,we have to adjust all data of the fire-control system," Li Jian, deputy director of Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center, said.     

China has confirmed it will send the second orbiting space lab Tiangong-2 into space in the third quarter of this year. In the fourth quarter, the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft will carry two astronauts to dock with Tiangong-2. Shenzhou-11 will be the country’s sixth manned mission. It marks the next step in China’s plans to establish a space station in Low Earth Orbit.

In addition, China will debut its largest and most complex rocket yet, the Long March-5. And a next-generation Long March-7 rocket will put the country’s first cargo ship Tianzhou-1, into space in the first half of 2017.

Other space missions will include Beidou navigation and positioning satellites, Gaofen Earth observation satellites, and a communications satellite for Belarus.


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