China launched a space station on orbit

19:06, 16 September 2016

China launched a space station on orbit. A rocket with the station module was blasted off from the launchpad in the Gobi desert.

The space station is called "Tiangong 2", translated as "Heavenly Palace 2".

Next month, two astronauts will go to the station to conduct research. They will spend an entire month up there in the orbit near the moon. Biological and physical space experiments will be conducted, including quantum communications, gamma ray burst research and fluid physics.

This is the second Chinese space station - the first was launched in 2011 and has been recently put out of service.

China plans to replace "Tiangong 2" with a new crewed outpost by 2022. It is designed for six crew members and shall compete with the International Space Station.