China's 1st space lab Tiangong-1 ends data service

From: Kevin L. Walton via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 13:11:02 -0400
BEIJING, March 21 (Xinhua) -- After an operational orbit of 1,630 days,
China's first space lab Tiangong-1 terminated its data service, the manned
space engineering office said Monday.

The functions of the space laboratory and target orbiter have been disabled
after an extended service period of about two and a half years, although it
remains in designed orbit, according to the office.

Tiangong-1 was launched in September 2011 with a design life of two years.

It had successfully docked with the Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10
spacecraft and undertaken a series of experiments, contributing to the
nation's space program, the office said.

The lab had completed its main missions following Shenzhou-10's return to
earth in June 2013.

During its extended flight, Tiangong-1 conducted experiments on space
technology, space-earth remote sensing and space environment exploration,
according to the office.

Tiangong-1 was invaluable to scientists understanding of the construction
and management of a space station, the office said.

The aim of China's multi-billion-dollar space program is to put a permanent
manned space station into service around 2022.

By around 2020, the country's first orbiting space station should be
completed.

The flight orbit of the space lab, which will descend gradually in the
coming months, is under continued and close monitoring, according to the
office, which said the orbiter will burn up in the atmosphere eventually.

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Received on Tue Mar 22 2016 - 12:11:52 UTC

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