Beijing: Chinese cargo spaceship Tianzhou-2 has docked to the main module of China’s uncompleted Tiangong orbital station, the Xinhua news agency reports citing China’s manned spaceflight program.
The Long March 7 launch vehicle took off with the Tianzhou-2 cargo spaceship at 12:55 GMT on Saturday from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the Chinese province of Hainan. The spacecraft then separated from the launch vehicle and docked to the orbital station module at around 21:01 GMT.
China launched the Long March 5B carrier rocket with the main module (Tianhe, or “Harmony of the Heavens”) for China’s future orbital station at the end of April. Tianhe will be the control hub for the Tiangong (or “Heavenly Palace”) orbital station.
China expects to finish assembling its first space station in lower Earth orbit by 2022. The country has planned several missions, both cargo ship and crewed ones, across 2021 and 2022 to complete the complex and plans to officially launch the space station in 2023.