A Chinese cargo ship anchors at the Tiangong space station module | The world | DW

State media reported that a cargo ship loaded with supplies successfully docked at the central unit of the future Chinese space station on Sunday (05/30/2021).

The 14-ton Long March 7 missile and the Tianzhu-2 spacecraft loaded with food, equipment and fuel blasted off from the launch center in Wenchu, located in Hainan Island (south) Saturday night, it was reported earlier. Xinhua Agency.

Xinhua quoted the Chinese Space Agency as saying that the cargo ship docked at the space station unit at 5:01 am (9:01 pm GMT on Saturday).

The gathering in the orbit of the space station, called Tiangong, which means “Heavenly Palace,” will require about ten missions. The station is expected to operate at full capacity in 2022 and then remain active in Earth’s orbit for up to 15 years.

The Long March-7Y3 rocket, carrying the Tianzhu-2 automatic refueling vehicle, takes off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan Province, China. (29.05.2021)

After the possible retirement of the International Space Station after 2028, Tiangong could become the only remote outpost for humans in Earth orbit. China now plans to start preparations to send three astronauts to unload goods, which include food such as pulled pork with garlic sauce and kung pao chicken, according to the agency.

Beijing has invested billions in its space program, trying to catch up with pillars like Russia and the United States, with ambitious projects in Earth orbit and sending unmanned spacecraft to the moon and Mars.

This month, the Chinese rover Zhurong landed on Mars and began sending pictures, making China the third country – after the United States and Russia – to have landed a remote-guided robot on the Red Planet.

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gs (afp, Xinhua)

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