China’s Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft docked with Tianhe, core module of the country’s space station, at 5 a.m. on Sunday, bringing supplies, equipment and propellant, the China Manned Space Agency said.
The computer-orchestrated rendezvous and docking process took approximately eight hours.
A Long March-7 Y3 rocket carrying Tianzhou-2 blasted off at 8:55 p.m. on Saturday from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China’s Hainan Province.
After 604 seconds, Tianzhou-2 separated from the rocket and entered its designated orbit. At 9:17 p.m., the solar panels of Tianzhou-2 unfolded and began working properly.
The launch of the Tianzhou-2 cargo vessel is one of the 11 missions planned by China to complete the construction of its space station by the end of 2022. The 11 missions comprise three launches of the core module and two lab capsules of the space station, four cargo vessel flights and four manned missions.