From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Tiangong 2 mission
Mains level : Not Much
- Tiangong-2 was a manned Chinese space station that was destroyed upon its controlled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean on July 19.
- Tiangong-2 was retired from service after it had completed its experiments in space.
- Tiangong means “Heavenly Palace”. It was 10.4 metres long and 3.35 metres wide at its widest point, and weighed 8.6 metric tonnes.
- It was launched on September 15, 2016 and, in late 2016, hosted two Chinese astronauts for 30 days in what was China’s longest manned space mission so far.
- The recently decommissioned space lab followed the Tiangong-1, China’s first space station, which crashed into the southern Pacific Ocean on April 1, 2018 after Chinese scientists lost control of the spacecraft.
- China had launched Tiangong-1 in 2011 as proof-of-concept of technologies for future stations. The lab was visited by two teams of Chinese astronauts for 11 days and 13 days respectively.