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China to launch first cargo spacecraft

IANS | Beijing |

China will on Thursday launch its first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in Hainan province, it was announced on Wednesday.

The Centre on Tuesday conducted the final rehearsal covering all systems involved in the launch such as the rocket, spacecraft, launching site and testing, control and communication systems, Xinhua news agency reported.

Before the rehearsal, staff finished testing the rocket's hermeticity and its power and electric systems. The rehearsal showed that all the systems were working well and the technical conditions were good.

It is the first cargo ship independently developed by China and is expected to dock with the orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab and conduct in-orbit refueling.

The cargo spacecraft will also carry out space experiments, including one on non-Newtonian gravitation, before falling back to the earth.