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Tianzhou 6 cargo spacecraft to return to Earth
File image of a Tianzhou cargo spacecraft.
Tianzhou 6 cargo spacecraft to return to Earth
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) Jan 15, 2024

The Tianzhou 6 cargo spacecraft departed from the Tiangong space station on Friday afternoon and is set to return to Earth soon, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

The agency said in a brief release that the robotic craft undocked from Tiangong at 4:12 pm and entered into the solo-flight mode.

During the atmospheric reentry process guided by ground controllers, most of the spaceship will burn up, and a small amount of debris is expected to fall into secure areas in the South Pacific Ocean, the agency noted.

The Tianzhou 6 robotic cargo ship was launched in early May from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in the country's southernmost island province of Hainan.

As the ninth spaceship to visit the Chinese space station, Tianzhou 6 carried about 260 packages with a combined weight of nearly 5.8 metric tons, including living necessities to last a three-member crew for 280 days. In the food packages, there were about 70 kilograms of fresh fruits, double of those carried by the Tianzhou 5.

There were 98 packages of science payloads, weighing 714 kg, such as new equipment, spare parts and experimental materials.

With a designed life of more than a year, a Tianzhou cargo craft has two parts, a cargo cabin and a propulsion section. Such vehicles are 10.6 meters long and 3.35 meters wide.

Orbiting Earth about 400 kilometers above the ground, Tiangong now weighs nearly 100 metric tons, has a core module and two science capsules and is regularly connected to several visiting crew and cargo spaceships.

Based on a Xinhua News Agency article

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

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