|A display mock-up of Tiangong-2.|
|Mass||20,000 kilograms (44,000 lb)|
|Length||14.4 metres (47 ft)|
|Diameter||4.2 metres (14 ft)|
Tiangong-2 (Chinese: 天宫二号; pinyin: Tiāngōng èrhào; literally: "Heavenly Palace 2") is a planned Chinese space laboratory and part of the Project 921-2 space station program. Tiangong-2 is expected to be launched by the China National Space Agency by 2015 to replace the prototype module Tiangong-1, which was launched in September 2011.
In 2008, the China Manned Space Engineering Office published a brief description of Tiangong-2 and its successor Tiangong-3, indicating that several manned spaceships would be launched to dock with Tiangong-2.
In March 2011, Chinese officials stated that Tiangong-2 was scheduled to be launched by 2015, following the deorbit of Tiangong-1. Unmanned cargo spacecraft will dock with the station, allowing for resupply.[dated info]
The expected specifications of Tiangong-2 will be as follows:
- Crew size: 3, with 20 days of life support resources.
- Length: 14.4 metres (47 ft).
- Maximum diameter: 4.2 metres (14 ft).
- Mass: 20,000 kilograms (44,000 lb).
- Chinese space program
- Chinese space station – a multi-module orbital station, planned for launch around 2020
- International Space Station
- Shenzhou program
- Salyut – a Soviet space station with a similar monolithic design
- "China to launch Tiangong-2 and cargo spacecraft in 2015". GB Times. 13 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013.
- Branigan, Tania; Sample, Ian (26 April 2011). "China unveils rival to International Space Station". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 27 April 2011. "China often chooses poetic names for its space projects, such as Chang'e – after the moon goddess – for its lunar probes; its rocket series, however, is named Long March, in tribute to communist history. The space station project is currently referred to as Tiangong, or "heavenly palace"."
- "Tiangong-1 launch betrays China's earthly ambitions". BBC. 29 September 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
- David, Leonard (11 March 2011). "China Details Ambitious Space Station Goals". Space.com. Retrieved 9 March 2011. "China is ready to carry out a multiphase construction program that leads to the large space station around 2020. As a prelude to building that facility, China is set to loft the Tiangong-1 module this year as a platform to help master key rendezvous and docking technologies."
- "China manned spaceflight program" (PDF). The Space Review. 15 October 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
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