|Country of origin||China|
|Spacecraft type||Automated cargo spacecraft|
|Launch mass||Up to 13,500 kg (29,800 lb)|
|Payload capacity||Up to 6,500 kg (14,300 lb)|
|Dimensions||9 m × 3.35 m (29.5 ft × 11.0 ft)|
|Volume||15 m3 (530 cu ft)|
The Tianzhou (Chinese: 天舟; pinyin: Tiān Zhōu; lit.: 'Heavenly Ship') is a Chinese automated cargo spacecraft developed from China's first prototype space station Tiangong-1 to resupply its future modular space station. It was first launched (Tianzhou 1) on the Long March 7 rocket from Wenchang on April 20, 2017 and demonstrated autonomous propellant transfer (space refueling).
The first version of Tianzhou has a mass of 12,910 kg and can carry 6,500 kg of cargo.
Based on the Tiangong-1 space station, it is planned that the Tianzhou will function as the main automated cargo spacecraft for the Chinese space station. It will have pressurized, semi-pressurized and unpressurized cargo capabilities, and will be able to transport airtight cargo, large extravehicular payloads and experiment platforms. It was first launched on the new Long March 7 rocket from Wenchang on April 20, 2017.
The China Manned Space Engineering Office opened a consultation for the naming of the prospective cargo ship on April 25, 2011. By May 20, it had received more than 50,000 suggestions. On July 8 Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut and deputy director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences revealed that they had a short list of ten names. On October 31, 2013, it was revealed that they spacecraft had been named Tianzhou (Chinese: 天舟; pinyin: Tiān Zhōu; lit.: 'Heavenly Boat'), a combining the Chinese names of the Tiangong (Chinese: 天宫; pinyin: Tiān Gōng) space stations and the Shenzhou (Chinese: 神舟; pinyin: Shén Zhōu) spacecraft. They also stated that they would use the two letter identification TZ.
|1||Tianzhou 1||Unknown||20 April 2017 11:41||Long March 7||Wenchang LC-2||Tiangong-2 Fore||April 21, 2017||22nd September 2017 08:15 UTC||22nd September 2017 (deorbit burn at 10:00 UTC)||Maiden flight of the Tianzhou spacecraft. First Tianzhou flight to Tiangong-2.|
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