Chinese space station burned up in Earth's atmosphere

Xinhua said the space lab has worked in orbit for over 1,000 days much longer than its 2-year designed lifespan

On Friday, the Chinese space station Tiangong-2 was spectacularly decommissioned - it was set on a crash course with a remote patch of the Pacific Ocean called the "Spacecraft Cemetery". Operators had lost contact with Tiangong-1 (an artist's impression of the reentry is shown above) long before it reentered the atmosphere unguided on April 2, 2018, landing in the Pacific Ocean.

Tiangong-2, translated into English as 'Celestial Palace 2, ' was launched in 2016 as a part-time spacial feature. They spent about a month on the spacecraft, performing experiments on human physiology in space plus other tests.

After orbiting the earth 16,209 times, it burned itself into ashes, flaming out in a dazzling display as its last gift to humanity.

Although. Hopefully, Tiangong-2 will fare better than its predecessor Tiangong-1. In October 2016, taikonauts, as space travelers in China are known, flew to the station for the first time.

The Tiangong-2 was officially launched by the China National Space Agency (CNSA) on September 15, 2016.

Following this, in 2017 the docking and refueling capabilities of the Tiangong-2 were tested and measured by having a cargo spacecraft dock on the space station three times.


So even though Tiangong-2 is still fully functional, Chinese officials do not want to relive such a moment.

Zhang Lixian, a designer of the experiment racks of China's space station, said each rack could be regarded as a lab moved into space and capable of supporting various cutting-edge space experiments.

The in-depth cooperation between Chinese and European scientists in developing POLAR on Tiangong-2 has laid a solid foundation for greater and deeper cooperation between the two sides, said Sun Jianchao, a member of the team from the High Energy Physics Institute of CAS.

Tiangong-2 has worked in orbit over 1,000 days, much longer than its designated 2-year lifespan, accumulating considerable experience toward establishing a permanent space station around 2022.

According to the plans released by China, the 60-100-metric-ton Chinese Space Station will consist of a core module and two experiment modules. The delay also means that the Chang'e-5 lunar sample return mission will nearly certainly not take place in late 2019 as planned. No, the country isn't launching anything new into space, and in fact, it's sort of the opposite.

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