China’S New Space Station Now Occupied!

tiangong2_strip

On Oct 18th, Chinese astronauts onboard the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft docked with China’s new space station, the Tiangong 2.

Moments before the link-up, cameras on the Shenzhou 11 photographed the station’s docking port as the two craft flew in tandem 250 miles above Earth

This means there are now two occupied space stations orbiting Earth. The other one, of course, is the International Space Station (ISS). Compared to the ISS, the Tiangong 2 is small.

Indeed, it nearly doubled in size when the Shenzhou 11 joined it. Linked together, the merged spacecraft will orbit Earth for the next month providing a home in space about the size of a double decker bus.

If all goes as planned, astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong will more than double the record for the longest-duration Chinese crewed mission, extending the mark from 15 days to 33 days.

They will spend their time conducting science experiments and rehearsing procedures for future missions: Within a few years, China plans to start launching modules for a much larger Mir-class space station slated for completion in the 2020s.

http://spaceweather.com

10月18日,中国宇航员登上神舟11号航天器与中国新建的空间站,天工2号

在连接前的瞬间,神舟11上的摄像机拍摄车站对接端口,因为两个飞船在地球上空飞行250英里

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