Since it has become apparent that China intends to have a permanent manned space station by 2022, the state news agency Xinhua disclosed that the country will be launching its second space laboratory in the third quarter of this year - Reuters reports.
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President Xi Jinping revealed his country aims to be a major space power, and to this end, Beijing is doing all it can to advance its space program and push ahead with all it takes.
The Tiangong 2 will be docked with Tianzhou1, a cargo ship, which has been slated to launch by early 2017. To this end, China will also be launching Shenzhou 2 which is scheduled to transport two astronauts to space by late this year, with this spacecraft docking with Tiangong 2.
A source who wish to remain anonymous within the China space program said the country intends to complete its orbiting space station by 2020, and this is expected to have a core module and two attached labs.
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The Tiangong 1, China’s first space lab, launched in 2011 and has reported been working superbly. China's space program must still master launching cargo and fuel via space freighters and recycling air and water for extended manned missions, Xinhua said.