China to launch cargo ship into space by 2016

  • IANS, Beijing
  • Updated: Mar 02, 2014 18:38 IST

China is expected to launch a cargo ship into space around 2016 to serve the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, a leading space scientist said Sunday.

The cargo ship, named 'Tianzhou' or 'Heavenly Vessel', will be delivered by the newly-developed Long March-7 carrier rocket, Xinhua quoted Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China's manned space programme, as saying.

Cargo transportation system that supplies goods and propellants is a key technology China must master to establish its own space station, said Zhou, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the country's top political advisory body.

Tiangong-1, China's first space lab and target orbiter, was sent to orbit Sep 29, 2011. China is expected to launch the Tiangong-2 space lab around 2015.

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