On Thursday, a Chinese Long March 7 rocket successfully lifted off from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, carrying the Tainzhou-1 spacecraft.
This large, 10.6-meter-long cargo vehicle is the first of a new line of spacecraft that China intends to use to eventually service a large space station akin to the International Space Station.
During the next two months, the spacecraft will make three docking attempts with the Tiangong-2 space station, a smaller prototype for a larger station China intends to build during the coming decade.
After these three proof-of-concept dockings, which will occur from different directions, the Tianzhou-1 will separate from the station and perform several months of experiments before burning up in Earth’s atmosphere.
Read 3 remaining paragraphs