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China to launch Tiangong-2 space lab in 2016

Xinhua, September 10, 2014 Adjust font size:

China's first astronaut Yang Liwei has revealed that China will launch the Tiangong-2 space lab in 2016 and will finish building a space station around 2022.

Yang, who is vice director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office, made the remarks at the international Planetary Congress of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) which opened on Wednesday in Beijing.

China will also launch a manned spacecraft, the Shenzhou-11, and Tianzhou-1 cargo spaceship to dock with Tiangong-2, Yang said.

The country's first generation of astronauts are about to retire and new astronauts will be selected, including females, Yang said.

Three Chinese astronauts successfully completed a manual docking between the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module in June 2012, the first such attempt in China's history of space exploration.

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