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Experiments carried out on third day


10-22-2016 10:29 BJT

Full coverage: China Tiangong-2 Space Lab Launch

The two Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong have conducted experiments on the third day of their 30-day stay in the space lab. These include a brain-computer interaction and in-space plant cultivation.

Before that, the space complex formed by the Tiangong-2 space lab and Shenzhou-11 spacecraft made a successful altitude adjustment on Thursday, with the spacecraft now taking the lead position in orbit. With the turn made, the space complex has entered into its designated flight mode.

The two astronauts have already started their routine work and exercise programs after entering the orbit module. At 6:30 a.m, Beijing Time, Jing and Chen woke up to start a whole day's work.

In the traveling space lab, the astronauts experience 16 sunsets and sunrises in just 24 hours. That means a day and night every 90 minutes. Despite the almost surreal condition, the two are still living according to Beijing Time. Experts say they have arranged a scientific working schedule to help the astronauts stay healthy.

"We perfected the schedule of working and sleeping. They now work six days and have one day off. This schedule will give them more freedom to adjust their work flexibly," said Huang Weifen, Deputy Chief Designer, Chinese Astronaut Research and Training Center.

The first task for the two was to plant lettuce seeds. This will be China's first full experiment on plants from seeding to harvesting in space. The space lettuce will be ready for harvest in 30 days for further research.

At 9:20 a.m, Jing and Chen fed the specially bred silkworms they brought to space. Jing brought out the first silkworm and gave it a zero-gravity flight. This experiment will allow Chinese scientists to study and compare how space affects the silkworms' growth patterns.

For the astronauts living on board, Tiangong-2 is equipped with more comfortable facilities than its predecessor. Designers considered many factors including the sound, lighting, decorations as well as support facilities. They even installed a specially designed treadmill to maintain the astronauts’ proper physical functions. It requires them to put a belt on, otherwise they would be moonwalking in zero-Gravity.


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