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China moves closer to launch of first cargo spacecraft

Image Source: CRIENGLISH.com

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The launch of China’s first cargo spacecraft moved closer on Tuesday after it met all requirements to leave the factory floor, the report said.

The Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft, which can carry up to six tons, is now scheduled to be launched in April to dock with the Tiangong-2 space lab to refuel it.

It will be a “crucial step for China in building a space station by 2020,” the official Xinhua news agency said.

Experts say the success of China’s space programme is important for China’s rulers to garner support from the population and to boost international prestige.

In 2011, the US Congress ruled that Chinese astronauts would not be allowed on the International Space Station because of national security concerns.

The China National Space Programme aims to launch the core module of China’s own manned space station in 2018 with a goal of completing the station by 2022.

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