China's space lab Tiangong-2 roars into the air on the back of a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Sept. 15, 2016. (Xinhua/Ju Zhenhua)
9. Space lab Tiangong-2
China achieved a successful launch of space lab Tiangong-2 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on Sept. 15, 2016.
The space lab will eventually transfer to a slightly higher orbit at 393 kilometers above Earth – the same height at which the future Chinese space station will operate – before the Shenzhou-11 manned spaceship ferries two male astronauts into space to dock with the lab.
The launch of Tiangong-2 will lay a solid foundation for the building and operation of a permanent space station in the future.