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Final full-system drill ahead of space lab launch


09-11-2016 16:13 BJT

China's new space lab Tiangong-2 and its carrier rocket "Long March 2-F" are scheduled to blast off in the coming few days. The pair have been transferred to the launch pad in northwest China's city of Jiuqun. CCTV reporter Guan Yang finds out more about the final full-system drill taking place today. 

China is making another big step in its manned space program with the launch of the new space lab Tiangong 2 and the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft in the next two months. Today, the final full-system drill for Tiangong - 2 is taking place at Jiuquan satellite launch center. All systems relevant to the mission are tested to ensure the coordinated operations, the accuracy of the space lab's software and hardware, as well as the consistency in transmitting information.

In the command center, engineers and operators are on stand-by for the simulated launch mission, the operations and commands we see here today will be identical to those during the actual launch in a few days time except the fueling procedure is skipped because once the boosters are fueled, the rocket must be launched in a certain period of time.

And speaking of Tiangong 2's purpose, it is to verify the ability to transport goods into orbit for space crews, the propellants to refuel the space station, and conduct large-scale scientific experiments, One experiment aboard the Tiangong 2 space lab will be a detector developed by Chinese, Swiss and Polish scientists to study gamma ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in the universe.

As the final full-system drill draws to an end today, the new orbiting space lab is ready to bring China one step closer to the ultimate goal of its three-step spaceflight program: a large, permanently inhabited space station.

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