China’s Thien Cung 2 space station entered Earth’s atmosphere successfully on July 18 under controlled conditions, it was destroyed and debris fell to the South Pacific.
The space station has completed the final test phase of Beijing’s ambitious space-conquering program.
The space station or Thien Cung 2 was launched into orbit in 2016 and returned to Earth’s atmosphere at about 21h06 (local time) in control, according to the China Manned Space Engineering Office. (CMSA).
Some fragments of the space station have fallen into “predefined safe waters” in the South Pacific.
Xinhua says the station has been in orbit for more than 1,000 days, much longer than its two-year “life expectancy”.
Zhou Jianping, the chief designer of China’s manned space program, told Xinhua that entering controlled atmosphere of the Earth marks all the missions planned by Thien Cung 2. was successful.
Earlier, Thien Cung 1 station was launched into orbit in September 2011. However, it was almost completely burnt during the process of entering the Earth’s atmosphere and crashed in the South Pacific region in April 2018.
Now Beijing’s resources will be concentrated on the space station under construction. The station will become the only space station in orbit, after ISS (International Space Station) retires in 2024, although it will be much smaller than ISS. ISS weighs 400 tons and is as big as a football field.
In 2003, China became the third country in the world to send people to space after the Soviet Union and the United States. Beijing sees this as a turning point marking the stature of a global superpower.