China’s Tianzhou-1 freighter completes second refueling test


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Tianzhou-1, China’s first unmanned freighter, has successfully completed its second refueling test while docked with that country’s Tiangong-2 space module.

The test was successfully completed at 18:28 Beijing time on June 15th (10:28 UTC), according to an announcement (Chinese) from the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

Tianzhou-1 and the Tiangong-2 space station test bed module have been coupled for 54 days in orbit at around 390 kilometres above the Earth since April 22, following launch of Tianzhou-1 on April 20.

A first 29-step, five-day refuelling process was successfully concluded on April 27, marking a major step in China’s space station plans. The second test is understood to have taken two days.

The freighter will next undock, fly free for several months, and then attempt a third docking, this time doing so in only six hours versus the two day maneuvers it has so far completed.

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One comment

  • LocalFluff

    Does anyone know what fuel they use?
    I only found online that it is not revealed whether they brought oxidizer or not. I suppose a hypergolic fuel is the normal choice for long term station keeping, and that’s what most Chinese launchers use (although the newest use hydrogen now). If they practice refueling with hydrogen, that means preparation for interplanetary travel.

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