Unmanned Chinese spacecraft docks with space station module

Published May 11, 2022
A Long March-7 rocket takes off from Wenchang launch site in Hainan province on Tuesday. The rocket is carrying a cargo spacecraft laden with supplies for the Chinese space station under construction.—Reuters
A Long March-7 rocket takes off from Wenchang launch site in Hainan province on Tuesday. The rocket is carrying a cargo spacecraft laden with supplies for the Chinese space station under construction.—Reuters

BEIJING: An unmanned Chinese cargo spacecraft successfully docked with an orbiting space station module on Tuesday in the sixth of 11 missions needed to finish building China’s first space station by the end of the year.

A Long March-7 rocket carrying the Tianzhou-4 spacecraft blasted off at 1:56 a.m. Beijing time (1756 GMT Monday) from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern Hainan province.

Tianzhou-4 docked with Tianhe, the core module of the space station, at 8:54 a.m. Beijing time (0054 GMT), China Manned Space Agency said on Tuesday.

The cargo spacecraft transported propellants, application experiments samples, some payloads and supplies for three astronauts, the agency said.

Three astronauts will travel to Tianhe in June on the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft and live and work onboard the module for six months.

China aims to complete the construction of its first space station this year, being a key rival of the world’s only station — NASA’s International Space Station.

Published in Dawn, May 11th, 2022

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