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Successful fuel test takes China closer to manned space station dream

By Xin Dingding | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-04-27 19:44

A screenshot of CCTV shows the procedure of Tianzhou 1 cargo spacecraft automated docking with Tiangong 2 space lab on April 22, 2017.

China's first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou 1, has completed the first of three fuel resupply tests with the Tiangong II space laboratory, Zhang Youxia, commander-in-chief of China's manned space program announced on Thursday.

He described the mission as a success.

China Manned Space Agency said in a news release that the successful test means China has become the third nation to master in-orbit refueling technology, following Russia and the United States.

The technology is crucial to China's plan to establish a manned space station by about 2022.

Two more refueling tests will be conducted between Tianzhou 1 and the space lab during the cargo spacecraft's five-month mission which began on April 20 when it blasted off from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan province.

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