Tiangong-2, the Chinese space lab that was launched in September 2016 will plummet back to earth in a controlled demolition on Friday, July 19, 2019. Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency revealed that most of the Chinese spacecraft will burn up in the atmosphere during the re-entry, while a small amount of debris is expected to crash into the South Pacific ocean.
Chinese space agency decided to carry out the controlled demolition of Tiangong-2 after it has been there in the orbit for more than 1000 days. During its glorious mission, two astronauts spent one month inside the space lab, thus becoming the country's longest-ever crewed space mission. These astronauts conducted various experiments related to medicine, physics, and biology during their stay in the space laboratory.
It should be noted that the controlled demolition of Tiangong-2 is happening just a few months after Tiangong-1 plummeted to Earth in an uncontrolled descent. Tiangong program is widely considered as the Chinese space agency's giant leap to achieve its ultimate goal of launching a permanent space station by 2022.
China is now posing touch competition to the United States in the ongoing space race. A few months back, the country landed the Chang'e-4 space probe on the dark side of the moon, thus emerging as the first country to achieve this feat. In 2020, the country is planning to land the Chang'e-5 probe on the lunar surface.
The Chang'e-5 probe will be a manned mission and it aims to collect samples from the surface of the moon. If China succeeds in this mission, the country will become the second country, after the United States to put a citizen on the moon. China is also planning to launch an unmanned Martian space probe by the end of next year. After the completion of this Martian probe, the country will launch another mission aimed to collect samples from the Red Planet.