China's first cargo spacecraft docks with space lab

2017-04-22 18:04
In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft moves towards the Tiangong-2 space lab for docking. (Wang Sijang, AP)

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, China's Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft moves towards the Tiangong-2 space lab for docking. (Wang Sijang, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beijing - China's first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, successfully completed docking with an orbiting space lab on Saturday, the Beijing Aerospace Control Centre said.

The Tianzhou-1 was launched from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in the Hainan province on Thursday evening and began to approach the space lab, Tiangong-2 on Saturday morning.

It made first contact with the space lab early on Saturday morning and docking was completed several hours later.

Cargo ships bring supplies and fuel into orbit and the independent development of one is a "crucial step" toward China's goal of having its own crewed space station by 2022, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Chinese astronauts

The Tianzhou-1 is a tube-like craft which measures 10.6m in length and can carry over six tons of cargo as well as satellites, Xinhua said.

It will also conduct experiments in space, including one on non-Newtonian gravitation and will dock two more times with Tiangong-2 before falling back to Earth, Xinhua said.

Beijing sees its multi-billion-dollar space programme as a symbol of its rise and of the Communist Party's success in turning around the fortunes of the once poverty-stricken nation.

The US Congress ruled in 2011 that Chinese astronauts would not be allowed on the International Space Station because of national security concerns.

Tiangong-2 went into space on September 15 2016.

Read more on:    china  |  space

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
/Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.