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Tianzhou-1 robotic cargo spaceship orbiting as scheduled

CCTV.com

04-21-2017 08:53 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

It's a big day for China.  We start with the latest step in its plan to build a permanent space station. The country's first cargo spacecraft, the Tianzhou-One is now in orbit.

Lift-off was at seven-forty-one P.M. local time from the Wenchang Launch Center. The Tianzhou-One is orbiting 380 kilometers above the Earth, where the Tiangong-Two space lab is waiting for the docking. The robotic vessel is carrying 5 tons of supplies. It will refuel the facility, verifying the technologies needed for on-orbit transfer of liquid propellant. That's one of the key technologies deciding the successful operation of China's future space station.

Dozens of equipment sets are on board for experiments, and daily necessities for the astronauts. The Tianzhou-One's mission will last for three months.  The spacecraft is China's largest and heaviest launched so far.

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