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How will Shenzhou-11 spacecraft dock with Tiangong-2 space lab

After the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft was successfully launched into space on Monday morning, it will now dock with the experimental space lab Tiangong-2 launched earlier in September. According to experts, great precision will be required for this move.

The Tiangong-2 is in orbit 393 km above Earth, 50 km higher than that of China’s previous manned space missions. That means the Shenzhou-11 will have to change its orbit five times to reach the altitude and meet the Tiangong-2 space lab.

The Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, with astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong on board carrying out China’s sixth manned space mission, blasted off into space at 07:30 on Monday morning at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China. Jing and Chen will stay in the Tiangong-2 space lab for 30 days and conduct a number of experiments there after the spacecraft docks with the orbiting lab.

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