BEIJING (AP) – China has launched its first unmanned cargo spacecraft on a mission to dock with the country’s space station.
The Tianzhou 1 blasted off at 7.41pm yesterday 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. A pair of Chinese astronauts spent 30 days on board the station last year.
China launched the Tiangong 2 precursor facility in September and the station’s 20-tonne core module will be launched next year.