China sends another supply flight to new space station

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Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft
Tianzhou-2 cargo spacecraft

China has sent another spacecraft into space with supplies for its new space station.

A Long March 7 rocket carrying the cargo ship Tianzhou 3 (Heavenly Ship) lifted off from the Wenchang spaceport on the southern Chinese island of Hainan on Monday.

The Tiangong (Heavenly Palace) space station under construction, which so far only consists of the Tianhe (Heavenly Harmony) module, is to be completed by 2022.

Until then, China still wants to launch two laboratory modules, each weighing some 20 tons, into space.

Only on Friday, the first manned crew returned to Earth from the space station after three months. Astronauts are expected to be sent back in October to continue the work.

If the International Space Station (ISS) is decommissioned as planned in the next few years, China would be the only country still operating a permanent outpost in space.

Chinese astronauts were not allowed to take part in missions on the ISS at the insistence of the United States.

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