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China Docks Cargo Spacecraft As it Eyes First Space Station

The unmanned spacecraft Tianzhou-4 docked with the core module of the space station just before 9am Beijing time on Tuesday, China Manned Space Agency said

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The Indian government hopes private money can help it compete with Elon Musk's SpaceX. Photo: Reuters


A Chinese cargo spacecraft docked with an orbiting space station on Tuesday, taking a step closer toward building China’s first space station later this year.

The unmanned spacecraft Tianzhou-4 docked with Tianhe, the core module of the space station, at 8:54am Beijing time (0054 GMT), China Manned Space Agency said on Tuesday.

The cargo spacecraft, which took off aboard a Long March-7 rocket, transported propellants, application experiments samples, some payloads and supplies for three astronauts, the agency said.

The rocket blasted off at 1:56am Beijing time (1756 GMT Monday) from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in southern Hainan province.

Three astronauts will travel to Tianhe in June on the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft and live and work onboard the module for six months.

China aims to complete the construction of its first space station this year, being a key rival of the world’s only station – NASA’s International Space Station.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Sean OMeara





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Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


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