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China launches first cargo spacecraft on mission to test docking and refueling

Long March 7 rocket lifting off June 25, 2016. Credit: CMSE

China launched its first cargo resupply spacecraft Thursday on a mission to test docking and refueling technologies.

A Long March 7 rocket lifted off from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center at 7:41 a.m.Eastern and placed the Tainzhou-1 spacecraft into orbit.

The spacecraft, the first in a new line of spacecraft designed to eventually support a Chinese space station, will dock with the uncrewed Tiangong-2 laboratory module in orbit to test automated docking technologies and refueling of the lab module by the cargo spacecraft.

Tianzhou-1 also carries experiments it will perform for three months after completing initial docking and refueling tests. [gbtimes]


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China launches first cargo spacecraft on mission to test docking and refueling

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