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Shenzhou crew completes docking test with cargo craft

Screen image taken at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Jan 8, 2022 shows the Shenzhou XIII astronauts in China's space station core module conducting the manual rendezvous and docking experiment with the Tianzhou II cargo craft. (XINHUA)

BEIJING – China's Shenzhou-XIII crew has successfully completed the rendezvous and docking test between Tianzhou-II cargo spacecraft and China's space station.

The experiment was the first time that Chinese astronauts used manual teleoperation equipment to operate the cargo craft and the space station to conduct rendezvous and docking

At the beginning of the experiment, the astronauts in the core module teleoperated the Tianzhou-II cargo craft to leave the front docking port of the core module's node cabin and move to the planned parking point, with the coordination of ground control engineers.

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After a short stay in the parking point, the cargo craft moved towards the space station complex and completed the rendezvous and docking by the teleoperation of astronauts. The experiment took about two hours and was completed at 7:55 pm (Beijing Time), said the CMSA. 

Screen image taken at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Jan 8, 2022 shows the process of the manual rendezvous and docking experiment of China's space station with the Tianzhou II cargo craft.(XINHUA)

The manual teleoperation is a backup for automated rendezvous and docking of unmanned visiting spacecraft. The experiment was the first time that Chinese astronauts used manual teleoperation equipment to operate the cargo craft and the space station to conduct rendezvous and docking.

READ MORE: Shenzhou XIII astronauts enter space station core module

The experiment also tested the function and the performance of manual teleoperation equipment, as well as the coordination procedure between space and Earth, the CMSA added.

Screen image taken at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Jan 8, 2022 shows the process of the manual rendezvous and docking experiment of China's space station with the Tianzhou II cargo craft.(XINHUA)

Screen image taken at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Jan 8, 2022 shows the process of the manual rendezvous and docking experiment of China's space station with the Tianzhou II cargo craft. (XINHUA)