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China's cargo craft docks with space station core module

N.C.N. Limited 徽标 N.C.N. Limited 2021/9/20 Guo Zhongzheng
© Provided by N.C.N. Limited

Screen image captured at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Sept. 20, 2021 shows China's cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-3 docking with the space station core module Tianhe. (Photo by Guo Zhongzheng/Xinhua)

BEIJING, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- China's cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-3, carrying supplies for the upcoming Shenzhou-13 crewed mission, successfully docked with the space station core module Tianhe on Monday, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

At 10:08 p.m. (Beijing Time), Tianzhou-3 completed a computer-orchestrated rendezvous and docking at the rear docking port of the Tianhe core module. The whole process took approximately 6.5 hours, the CMSA said.

The Long March-7 Y4 rocket, carrying Tianzhou-3, blasted off at 3:10 p.m. from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the southern island province of Hainan. After 597 seconds, Tianzhou-3 separated from the rocket and entered its designated orbit. At 3:22 p.m., the solar panels of Tianzhou-3 unfolded and began working properly.

The CMSA declared the launch a complete success.

© Provided by N.C.N. Limited

Screen image captured at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Sept. 20, 2021 shows China's cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-3 docking with the space station core module Tianhe. (Photo by Guo Zhongzheng/Xinhua)

On Sept. 18, the Tianzhou-2 cargo craft separated from the rear docking port of Tianhe and docked with its front docking port.

Following Tianzhou-3's docking, the two cargo crafts are docked at the two ends of the Tianhe core module to form a linear shape, waiting for the arrival of Shenzhou-13 crew members.

Tianzhou-3 carries nearly 6 tonnes of goods and materials, including living supplies for the astronauts, one extravehicular space suit for back-up, supplies for extravehicular activities, space station platform materials, payloads and propellants.

Monday's launch is the 20th mission of China's manned space programs and the 389th mission of the Long March rocket series.

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