China Launches Its First Cargo Spaceship

China’s President, Xi Jinping

China's President, Xi Jinping

China’s President, Xi Jinping

China has launched its first cargo spaceship on Thursday, taking the country one step closer to building its own space station.

According to a media report, Tianzhou-1 (Heavenly Ship) took off at 7:41 pm (1141 GMT) from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre in the southern Chinese island of Hainan.

The spacecraft, which can carry over six tonnes of cargo, is propelled by a Long March-7 Y2 carrier rocket.

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The spaceship is expected to dock in two days with the Tiangong-2 space lab, which was launched in September.

Report says the Tianzhou-1 is seen as essential in the operation of a space station that China plans to build by 2020.