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Long March rocket prepares for take-off

By Zhao Lei | China Daily | Updated: 2023-05-08 07:14

The Long March 7 carrier rocket is seen on Sunday in front of its service tower at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province. QIU LIJUN/FOR CHINA DAILY

The Long March 7 carrier rocket, tasked with lifting the Tianzhou 6 cargo spaceship, was moved to its service tower at the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province on Sunday, according to the China Manned Space Agency.

Tianzhou 6 is scheduled to set out in coming days to dock with the country's Tiangong space station to deliver propellants, science payloads and necessities for astronauts, according to mission plans.

The Long March 7 rocket had been transported to the Wenchang center in mid-April for prelaunch checks with the cargo spaceship.

On Friday, the Tianzhou 5 cargo craft undocked from the Tiangong space station and started a period of solo flight. Its connection hatch will be used by Tianzhou 6.

Tianzhou 5 is scheduled to re-dock with the space station in the coming weeks after the departure of the Shenzhou XV crew, who will return to Earth after their six-month journey ends, the space agency said.

Around the end of May, the crew of the Shenzhou XVI mission is expected to arrive at the massive orbiting outpost to take over from the Shenzhou XV crew.

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