China is planning to deorbit its Tiangong-2 Space Laboratory on July 19 in a controlled manner after the manned space lab completed its tests.
China Manned Space Program (CMSP) announced this on Saturday in a statement published on its official website.
“According to the plan, the Tiangong-2 Space Laboratory has completed all the expansion tests and will deorbit and reentry the atmosphere on Beijing time July 19, 2019.
“A small amount of residual load will fall into the scheduled safe waters of the south Pacific Ocean,” the programme said.
It noted that Tiangong-2, which spent more time in the orbit than initially planned, was in good condition.
“The preparations of the controlled reentry are progressing smoothly as planned.
“After the reentry of Tiangong-2 into the atmosphere, China will timely release information and inform relevant situations in an open way,” it added.
The space laboratory was launched in Sept. 2016 and was expected to have a two-year life span.
The spacecraft, however, has already spent over 1,000 days in the orbit.
Tiangong-2, which can accommodate a two-strong crew, has been used to perform space technology experiments, and the docking and refueling of spacecraft, Sputnik reported.