LEAD China launches cargo spacecraft to dock with space station module

Through :| Keywords : China-Tianzhou-2-launch
French.china.org.cn| Updated on 29-05-2021

China launched the Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft on Saturday, which is scheduled to dock with the main module of the Tianhe space station to deliver supplies, equipment and propellant.

The Long March-7 Y3 rocket, carrying the Tianzhou-2, took off from the Wenchang space launch site on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan, according to the Chinese Human Space Flight Agency.

China launched its main module from the Tianhe space station on April 29. The country plans to complete the verification of key technologies and the in-orbit construction of the space station with multiple launches in two years.

Saturday’s launch marked the first commissioning of the space station’s cargo transport system, consisting of the Tianzhou spacecraft and Long March-7 rockets.

With a length of 10.6 meters and a maximum diameter of 3.35 meters, the Tianzhou-2 cargo vessel has a maximum take-off weight of 13.5 tons and carries 6.8 tons of cargo and materials.

More than 160 small and large packages, including astronaut supplies and space science equipment, and two tons of rocket fuel have been loaded into the freighter, according to the Chinese Academy of Space Technology (ACTS).

Lei Jianyu, designer of Tianzhou-2 at ACTS, said only two types of cargo spacecraft currently in service in the world have a maximum load capacity of more than five tons. “China’s Tianzhou is one of them, and is at the level of the world leader.” F

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