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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.