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China's Cargo Spacecraft Leaves Orbit
SOURCE: China Space News     UPDATED: 2017-10-13

BEIJING, Sept. 25 (China Space News) -- China's first cargo spacecraft, Tianzhou-1, left its orbit under orders from ground control around 6 p.m. Friday.

The cargo ship twice put on the breaks, continuously lowering its altitude before burning-up in the atmosphere, all under precise control and close monitoring from the ground.

Before leaving orbit, Tianzhou-1 had completed a number of experiments, gaining important experience for the building and operating of China's space station.

Tianzhou-1 was launched on April 20 from south China's Hainan Province, and completed automated docking with the orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab on April 22.

The two spacecraft completed their first in-orbit refueling on April 27, a second refueling on June 15 and a final one on September 16. In the past five months, Tianzhou-1 has operated smoothly, completing various tasks.