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China launches first space freighter Tianzhou-1

April 20, 16:08 UTC+3 BEIJING

The cargo ship is intended to dock with the Tiangon-2 orbital space station and conduct the station’s on-orbit refueling

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© Ju Zhenhua/Xinhua via AP

BEIJING, April 20. /TASS/. The first Chinese cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 (Heavenly Vessel-1) was launched from the Wenchang spaceport in the southern Hainan province by a Chang Zheng-7 (Long-March-7) carrier rocket on Thursday. The launch was broadcast live by China’s central television.

The cargo ship is intended to dock with the Tiangon-2 orbital space station and conduct the station’s on-orbit refueling.

The Chang Zheng-7 is a new-generation carrier rocket to deliver satellites weighing up to 13.5 tonnes into near-Earth orbit. It was launched for the first time in June last year from the Wenchang space center, marking a new stage in China’s space exploration.

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