China's Tiangong-2 space lab will deorbit next July after successfully completing its two-year on-orbit flight and various test tasks.
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This September marks its two year anniversary being in operation, according to a briefing on Wednesday.
The Tiangong-2 platform and loading application are in working order and in good condition. In order to improve operations, the space lab will be in orbit until July 2019, and then deorbit under manual control, according to the Tiangong-2 Space Lab Operation Management Committee.
Tiangong-2 operates in a near-circular orbit with an average orbital height of about 400 kilometers, Deputy Director of the Design Department of the Space Engineering Program, Lin Xiqiang introduced.
All the equipment meets the requirements of the working index. Next, the compressor life test and space science application test will be carried out.
The space lab was designed with multiple independent safety control modes to ensure that Tiangong-2 is under controll to deorbit after July 2019. In case of malfunctions outside the control zone, it can switch into the safe mode to enter a relatively safe operating state, noted Zhu Zongpeng, chief designer of the space lab.
The Tiangong-2 was launched in 2016.