China launches first cargo spacecraft to new space station

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China has launched its first cargo spacecraft carrying nearly 6.8 tons of goods and materials to the new space station, Tianhe.

The Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft was launched from Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site at around 8:55 pm local time on Saturday.

The China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) has said the spacecraft is carrying more than than 160 large and small packages, including supplies for astronauts and space-science equipment, and two tons of propellant have been loaded into the cargo freighter.

China will launch a crewed spaceship, the Shenzhou-12, after Tianzhou-2’s docking with Tianhe to carry 3 astronauts to space, Xinhuanet reported.

The astronauts will obtain their living and working materials from Shenzhou-12 over a period of 3 months during which they will stay and work in the orbit.

The country is expected to perform more similar launches within the next two years in a bid to the in-orbit construction of the space station.

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