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The Russian Hare

China Tianzhou-1 vehicle reenters atmosphere

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The Chinese Tianzhou 1 resupply and refueling freighter re-entered Earth’s atmosphere Friday, burning up as designed after a five-month mission demonstrating servicing techniques for China’s future space station.

The nearly 35-foot-long (10.6-meter) robotic cargo carrier fired its thrusters two times to slow down and drop out of orbit, according to China’s state-run Xinhua news agency.

The ground-commanded deorbit burns guided the Tianzhou 1 spacecraft into the atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean at around 1000 GMT (6 a.m. EDT; 6 p.m. Beijing time) Friday, Chinese space officials said.

Tianzhou 1 is the first in a series of vessels designed to deliver cargo, food, clothing, water and fuel to crews on China’s future space station, an orbiting complex scheduled for completion by around 2022.


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