Tianzhou-7 Prep at Wenchang Launch Site

Vertical Transportation of Tianzhou-7 Cargo Spacecraft and Long March-7 Y4 Carrier Rocket

The Tianzhou-7 cargo spacecraft and the Long March-7 Y4 carrier rocket, which are responsible for the launch mission, have recently arrived at the Wenchang Space Launch Site and are scheduled for launch in the near future. This morning (the 15th), the combination of the Tianzhou-7 cargo spacecraft and the Long March-7 Y4 carrier rocket began its vertical transportation.

At the Wenchang Space Launch Site, the combined body of the Tianzhou spacecraft has driven out of the assembly and test building and is steadily moving towards the launch pad under the support of a dedicated track. The temperature at the launch site today is around 22 degrees Celsius, with a wind force of 2-3, which is suitable for rocket transportation.

Tianzhou-7 Vertical Transportation

The vertical transportation work started at 8 o’clock this morning and is expected to take between two and a half to three hours. Vertical transportation also signifies the completion of the preliminary assembly and testing work in the technical area, officially entering the launch preparation phase.

The Tianzhou series of cargo spacecraft, as one of the world’s most powerful cargo spacecraft, regularly shuttles between space and Earth, contributing consistently to the construction of the Chinese space station. Affectionately referred to as the “strongest delivery guy in space,” what items will the Tianzhou-7 carry to the space station this time? According to experts on site, the items transported by Tianzhou-7 this time are similar to previous missions, mainly including astronauts’ daily necessities, environmental control and life support supplies, etc. This time, it will also carry 30 kilograms more of fruits than before, in addition to multiple payloads for scientific experiments and verification. Apart from transporting supplies for the astronauts, the spacecraft also has the important task of replenishing the space station’s propellant. This time, it will carry 1750 kilograms of propellant, of which 700 kilograms will be used to refuel the space station.

Tianzhou-7 Cargo

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This launch mission marks the first manned space mission of China’s manned space program this year. From this mission onwards, the launch frequency of cargo spacecraft has been optimized from two times a year to three times in two years, further saving the cost of space transport. The main reasons for such optimization are the enhanced payload capacity and “precise replenishment.” With the use of improved cargo compartments, the cargo space has increased and the carrying capacity has been strengthened. Furthermore, the establishment of a coordinated material information system enables “precise replenishment,” ensuring efficient and effective supply without excess or shortage.

Wenchang Space Launch Site

At the transportation site, the personnel from various systems such as the rocket, spacecraft, and launch site are escorting the combined body towards the launch area. What preparations have been completed at the launch site so far?

Preparations at Launch Site

Wenchang Space Launch Site – He Hongye: The entire process of this mission is planned to remain basically consistent with the past, with only minor adjustments made to the relevant software status to ensure the reliability of the mission’s success. The upcoming mission will soon enter the launch area testing phase, lasting three days, during which various functional checks will be conducted to lay a solid foundation for the successful launch.

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