China has launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the space station of the country.
The Tianzhou 1 blasted off on April 20, 2017 atop a latest-generation Long March 7 rocket from China's newest spacecraft launch site, Wenchang, on the island province of Hainan.
It is programmed to conduct scientific experiments after reaching the now crewless Tiangong 2, China's second space station.
China launched the Tiangong 2 precursor facility in September and the station's 20-ton core module will be launched next year.
The completed 60-ton station is set to come into full service in 2022 and operate for at least a decade.Tiangong-2: Know More
- Launch date: 15 September 2016
- Orbital period: 1.5 hours
- Launch pad: Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-1
- Orbital inclination: 42.79°
- Orbital speed: 7.68 km/s (4.77 mi/s)
- Manufacturer: China National Space Administration