CHINA TO LAUNCH 1ST CARGO SPACECRAFT TIANZHOU-1
Added On April 21, 2017
A blast off time has been set for China's first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1.
The spacecraft is scheduled for launch at 7:41 p.m. local time Thursday from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in southern China's Hainan Province.
The office of China's manned space program made the announcement on Wednesday.
It said the cargo spacecraft will be carried into orbit by a Long March-7 Y2 carrier rocket.
Independently developed by China, Tianzhou-1 is expected to operate in orbit at 380 kilometers before docking with the orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab.
Measuring 10.6 meters in length and up to 3.3 meters in diameter, the tube-like Tianzhou-1 can carry over 6 tonnes of cargo.
The cargo spacecraft will also carry out experiments before falling back to earth.
The launch of Tianzhou-1 is a crucial step in China's plan to build a space station around 2020.