Launch of Shenzhou-11 within days !

It is highly possible, that China will launch their manned spacecraft Shenzhou-11 to conduct docking with Tiangong-2 space station recently placed on Earth orbit.

Officially CNSA planned to perform launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center using Long March 2F rocket. It was declared, that launch will be possible after Tiangong-2 will pass successfully all necessary in-orbit tests and its readiness to docking of manned spacecraft will be finally confirmed.

Tiangong-2 was launched at 14:04 GMT on 16th September 2016 from pad 921 at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It successfully reached planned LEO orbit with altitude of 380 km. Nine days later, on September 25, 2016, Chinese news agency Xinhua announced, that after passing all necessary tests, engineers and specialists performed with Tiangong-2 maneuver of orbit change to prepare Station for docking of Shenzhou spacecraft. Altitude of circular orbit was increased to 393 km. It was also confirmed, that Shenzhou-11, which was delivered to Jiuquan on 15 August 2016, will be launched on October with two astronauts onboard. Today it was unveiled on China Spaceflight Twitter profile, that Long March 2F rocket was already rolled out from assembly facility and was moved to launch tower. This fact and Tiangong-2 orbit change are confirmation of previous rumors, which appeared recently on various Chinese space forums, that launch is planned for morning hours local time on 16th or 17th  October with docking to Tiangong-2 two days later.  No details were officially confirmed or denied; personalities of two astronauts were also not unveiled, but according to previous announcements both astronauts will be male - according to statement given by office of the China Manned Space Program on March 2016, this is caused by character of the mission. Probably true reason is that Tiangong-2 requires some preparations before it will be ready to be fully operational for manned mission. To perform these actions some serious physical strength will be required. CNSA plans, that mission of Shenzhou-11 will last 30 days.

Sources:
https://twitter.com/cnspaceflight

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