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Tianzhou-2, docks with its new space station module

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    4th Jun, 2021


A Chinese cargo spacecraft that is named Tianzhou-2 has successfully docked with its space station Tiangong-3’s core module.

About Tianzhou-2

  • Tianzhou-2 was launched on a Long March-7 Y3 rocket. It was docked with Tianhe core module.
  • Cargo supplies: The cargo craft was carrying propellant, equipment, and food and supplies for a future crew.
    • The supplies carried by the craft will be utilised by the first crew scheduled to fly to the station module next month.
  • Tianzhou is a series of cargo spacecraft developed by China to dock with space stations.
  • Tianzhou-1 flew thrice in 2017 with fuel for the Tiangong-2 space station prototype.

China’s space station

  • The Tiangong (meaning ‘Heaven’s Palace’) programme was started in 1992.
  • The current orbiting module is the core component of the Tiangong-3 space station, which is the third and final functional version of the station.
  • It will weigh 66,000 kg and begin operations by 2022 at an orbit of about 350-450 km.
  • The space station will be assembled and operated entirely by one nation, unlike the International Space Station (ISS).
  • Its design contains multiple modules, including the Tianhe core module, with science labs.
  • The dockable Shenzhou crew capsule or lifeboat and the Tianzhou robotic cargo ship will also be a part of the station on either ends of the core module.
    • Three astronauts will travel in the Shenzhou-12 spacecraft.