China’s second space lab will return to Earth in July 2019 in a controlled destruction, the country’s space agency said Wednesday.
The announcement comes just six months after the country’s first space lab, named Tiangong-1, made international news when it infamously plummeted out of orbit in an uncontrolled descent.
It fell into the South Pacific Ocean in April, mostly burning up in the atmosphere before it reached the ocean.
The second space lab, Tiangong-2, which has been in orbit for two years, was launched in 2016. According to state media, it performed 14 projects and carried a 600 kg load.
“Tiangong-2 has fulfilled its mission during the two-year time, and all the loads are now in good condition,” said Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office, according to state media.
“It will be in orbit until July 2019, and then will be controlled to deorbit.” Read more