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China launches spacecraft carrying cargo for space station
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Nov 11, 2022

The Long March-7 Y6 rocket, carrying cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-5, blasts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in South China's Hainan province Nov 12, 2022.

China launched the Tianzhou-5 cargo spacecraft on Saturday morning to transport fuel and supplies to the country's orbiting Tiangong space station, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The agency said in a news release that a Long March 7 rocket carrying the robotic cargo ship blasted off at 10:03 am at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province.

After a 11-minute flight, the rocket placed the Tianzhou 5 in a low-Earth orbit about 400 kilometers above the ground and then separated from it. The cargo ship's solar arrays unfolded at 10:17 am, the release said, adding that the craft will then rendezvous and dock with the Tiangong station.

Designers of Tianzhou 5 at the China Academy of Space Technology in Beijing said the cargo ship is carrying about 5.3 metric tons of materials, including living and mission necessities, scientific equipment as well as a mini experimental satellite. The craft is also containing nearly 1.4 tons of propellants for the Tiangong station, the designers said.

Tianzhou 5 will become the fourth cargo ship to have docked with Tiangong, following the Tianzhou 2, 3 and 4.

The Tianzhou 4, which stayed connected with the space station for six months, undocked from Tiangong on Wednesday and will be guided by ground controllers back to Earth in due course, the agency said.

Currently, the Tiangong station consists of a core module, two lab modules and a spacecraft used to transport the astronauts.

By now, three crews have lived and worked inside the Tiangong, one of the world's largest space-based infrastructures. The current occupants are the three astronauts of the Shenzhou XIV mission who entered the outpost in June.

The Shenzhou XV mission crew is scheduled to launch to make an in-orbit shift with the Shenzhou XIV crew in coming weeks.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

Related Links
China Manned Space Agency
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com

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China's cargo spacecraft sets new world record
Beijing (XNA) Nov 11, 2022
The Tianzhou 5 cargo spacecraft launched on Saturday morning has docked with the Tiangong space station around noon, setting a world record for the fastest rendezvous and docking operations between two spacecraft, according to the China Manned Space Agency. The Tianzhou 5 was placed into a low-Earth orbit by a Long March 7 rocket that blasted off at 10:03 am at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province. After the cargo craft entered the orbit, it traveled two hours and seven minu ... read more

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