(China on Thursday evening launched its first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, into space)
China has taken another step toward its goal of putting a space station into orbit around 2022, by sending its first cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-1 into space on Thursday evening.
Atop a Long March-7 Y2 carrier rocket, Tianzhou-1 rose into the air from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in south China's Hainan Province at 7:41 p.m.
China declared the launch a success after it entered designated orbit minutes later.
Tianzhou-1 will remain in space for about five months, spending two months with Tiangong II and three months in a separate orbit, according to the China Manned Space Agency.
In space, the cargo ship will dock with the orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab, provide fuel and other supplies, and conduct space experiments before falling back to Earth.