China on Monday has moved a step closer to establish its permanent space station by 2022. It has launched a spacecraft carrying two astronauts, in its longest-ever manned space mission, who would later join its second experimental space lab orbiting the Earth. It will dock with orbiting space lab Tiangong-2 in two days and the astronauts will stay in the lab for 30 days. China, which conducted its first manned space mission in 2003, is putting in billions into its space programme in a bid to catch up with the US and Europe. It also plans to launch its maiden Mars mission in 2020 to match India and others. The Shenzhou-11 spaceship will return to Earth within a day after docking the two astronauts on Tiangong-2 space lab and separating from it.
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