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China prepares Tianzhou-4 cargo spacecraft for launch to Tiangong space station

China prepares Tianzhou-4 cargo spacecraft for launch to Tiangong space station

The Long March 7 rocket with a robotic cargo ship was taken to the site of the Chinese Wenchang cosmodrome on May 7 for a flight to the Chinese space station.

The Chinese rocket is carrying the Tianzhou-4 cargo ship, an automated resupply vehicle that will travel to China’s Tiangong-Tianhe main module in the next few days. Although the China National Space Administration has not released a launch date, there have been reports in the media that the launch could take place on Monday, May 9 at 18:15 GMT. It will be early May 10 Beijing time.
The Tianzhou-4 cargo vehicle is the third automatic resupply vehicle to visit the new Tianhe module of the Tiangong space station (Tianzhou-1 flew to China’s prototype Tiangong-2 space station in 2017). Its flight follows China’s latest long-duration mission to a station called Shenzhou 13, which sent three astronauts to Tiangong for six months last October and returned to Earth last month.