According to flight mission schedule, the Tianzhou 1 cargo spaceship has successfully completed the planned flight mission and expanded experiment mission, and will conduct controlled de-orbit on September 22 -23, 2017.
Tianzhou 1 is the first cargo spaceship developed by China. It is composed by two modules, one for cargo and the other for propelling. The spaceship is 10.6 meters long and 3.35 meters in maximum diameter, with a solar panel unfolding span of 14.9 meters. With a launch mass of about 13 tons, designed to accommodate up to 6 tons of payloads and to 2.1 tons of propellants supplement, Tianzhou 1 is capable of independent space flight for 3 months to complete important missions such as rendezvous and docking with Tiangong 2 Space Lab, on-orbit propellant refueling, and space scientific and technological experiments, among others.
Since launch to orbit on April 20th, 2017, Tianzhou 1 cargo spaceship has successfully operated for 5 months. It has conducted a series of scheduled space scientific and technological experiments and demonstrated many key technologies including space station cargo supply, propellant on-orbit refueling, swift autonomous rendezvous and docking, from which China has acquired important experience in the development, establishment, operation and management of space station.