Tiny Satellite Booms Back Images of Tiangong-2
A tiny satellite has provided the initial good look at the China's orbiting Tiangong-2 space laboratory. This space laboratory was launched on September 15 and recently, two astronauts aboard the spacecraft named Shenzhou-11 joined with the vehicle.
On October 23, these two astronauts named Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong organized a 47 kilograms (104-lb) satellite from the orbiting compound. According to a report published in Space.com, Chinese officials have said that Cubesat which is known as Banxing-2 has now beamed back more than hundreds of close-up images of the two linked-up spacecraft.
As per News Block, Zhong Hongen, chief designer of the Space Application System, Managed Space Flight Project said, "From that distance, the image has a resolution of nearly 1 centimeter (0.4 inches)." He added that the images boomed back clearly show the equipment and facilities placed outside the spacecraft-space laboratory complex. The images sent back has met its requirement and is working well. The photos will be captured again when the microsatellite orbits the spacecraft and space lab, the next time. And then, everyone would be able to see the images of the complex with the Earth in the background.
Tiangong-2 is a test bed designed to prove out the tryst, docking, and life-enhancing technologies that China will require building a permanently staffed space station. They are aiming to achieve this dream by the end of 2020. The space laboratory follows the footsteps of Tiangong-1, which was launched in September 2011. Three Shenzhou craft (two of them crewed) was sent along Tiangong-1 from November 2011 up to June 2013.
Jing and Chen are planned to stay aboard Tiangong-2 for 30 days and spend a total of 33 days in space, on the present mission. This stay will set the Chinese record for the longest crewed spaceflight mission. The previous mark was set by the crew of Shenzhou-10 (for 14 days), which visited Tiangong-1 in June 2013.