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China's cargo spacecraft starts independent operation

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-21 16:54

BEIJING -- After flying with the Tiangong II space lab for about two months, China's Tianzhou 1 cargo spacecraft on Wednesday separated from the space lab and entered a stage of independent operation.

Controlled from Earth, Tianzhou 1 separated from Tiangong II at 9:47 am Wednesday, remained 120 meters from the lab and then left to pursue its own course when conditions were deemed appropriate.

In this stage, Tianzhou-1 will orbit about 390 km above the Earth, conducting a variety of experiments.

It will also release a tiny satellite, CubeSat, and will carry out an automated fast-docking with Tiangong II and conduct the third refueling of the space lab.

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