Fri, Dec 9, 2016 | updated 05:08 PM IST

China to launch its Tiangong-2 space lab today

Updated: Sep 15, 2016 12:08 IST

Jiuquan [China], Sept. 14 (ANI): China will launch its Tiangong-2 space lab from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert.

The launch is scheduled to take place at 10:04 p.m. as part of an increasingly ambitious space program that aims for a manned space station by around 2022, reports the Xinhua.

Wu Ping, deputy director of the manned space engineering office yesterday said that engineers have begun injecting propellant into the Long March-2F T2 rocket, which will carry Tiangong-2 into space.

She added that Beijing's manned space program has now entered a "new phase of application and development."

The 8.6-tonne Tiangong-2 once in space is said to maneuver itself into an orbit about 380 kilometers above Earth for initial on-orbit tests.

According to reports, in April 2017, China's first cargo ship, Tianzhou-1, will also be sent into orbit to dock with Tiangong-2 to provide it with fuel and other supplies.

A micro satellite will also be piggybacking on the Tiangong-2 that will orbit close to the space lab. (ANI)