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Tianzhou 6 docks with Tiangong space station
File image of a Tianzhou class cargo ship docking at China's Tiangong space station.
Tianzhou 6 docks with Tiangong space station
by Staff Writers
Beijing (XNA) May 11, 2023

The Tianzhou 6 robotic cargo ship connected with the Tiangong space station early Thursday morning, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

In a brief news release, the agency said the cargo craft docked with the Tiangong station's rear hatch at 5:16 am and began to fly with the station in a low-Earth orbit about 400 kilometers above Earth.

Crew members of the Shenzhou XV mission will enter the Tianzhou 6 in due course to transfer materials, it noted.

As the first spacecraft to visit China's Tiangong space station this year, the Tianzhou 6 was launched on Wednesday night by a Long March 7 carrier rocket from the coastal Wenchang Space Launch Center in the country's southernmost island province of Hainan.

It is carrying about 260 packages with a combined weight of nearly 5.8 metric tons, including living necessities enough for a three-member crew for 280 days.

There are 98 packages of science payloads, with a combined weight of 714 kg. These contain new equipment, spare parts and experiment-related materials. The payloads will be used in 29 scientific experiments and technological tests in disciplines such as life sciences, biology and fluid physics in microgravity, as well as combustion and material sciences.

Last week, the Tianzhou 5 cargo craft undocked from the Tiangong space station and started a period of solo flight. It is scheduled to re-dock with the space station in the coming weeks after the departure of the Shenzhou XV crew, who will return to Earth after completing their six-month journey, according to the manned space agency.

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

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