This will be historical mission in the history of Chinese space exploration program – Long March 7 rocket will deliver to orbit first Chinese robotic cargo spacecraft during its second flight.
Rocket was already rolled out from assembling facility at Wenchang Satellite launch Center. Roll out was performed on April 17 at 07:30 local time. Rocket will be launched from Wenchang tomorrow at 11:40 UTC (20th April 2017). It will be second flight of Long March 7 after maiden mission performed on 25 June 2016. This time rocket will not deliver another satellite, but first Chinese robotic cargo spacecraft with payload to second Chinese orbital station – Tiangong-2.
This is important mission for whole program of Chinese space stations. Development of modular large station planned for following years would be impossible without cargo spacecraft for delivering supplies for crew members. Chinese space authorities understand well this problem and developed cargo spacecraft able to deliver both propellant and cargo. this first maiden mission will last five months and will cover number of docking to Tiangong-2 planned to be performed automatically, transfer of the propellant and various tests of the vehicle.