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China's First Cargo Spacecraft Completes 2nd Docking with Space Lab

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China’s first cargo spacecraft, the Tianzhou-1, has completed its second docking with the Tiangong-2 space lab, the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO), the agency in charge of the nation’s manned space exploration program, said Monday.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The cargo spacecraft separated from the space lab on Monday morning and kept a 5-kilometer (8-mile) distance with it for about 90 minutes. After flying a full circle around the space lab, the Tianzhou-1 spacecraft docked with the Tiangong-2 space lab successfully, according to CMSEO.

"At 2:55 PM local time (6:55 GMT) on June 19, the Tienzhou-1 cargo spacecraft flew a full circle around the Tiangong-2 space lab and completed its second docking with the space lab," the agency said in a statement.

The Tianzhou-1 spacecraft was launched on April 20 from south China's Hainan Province and completed its first automated docking with the Tiangong-2 space lab on April 22.

After its launch, China said the Tianzhou-1 spacecraft is expected to dock with Tiangong-2 three times.

China plans to launch a new module of its space station in 2018 for testing respective technologies. The station is expected to be fully functional by 2022.

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