China's Tianzhou-4 Cargo Spacecraft Burns Up After Entering Earth's Atmosphere - Agency

BEIJING (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 15th November, 2022) China's Tianzhou-4 unmanned cargo spacecraft has almost completely burnt up after entering the Earth's atmosphere on Tuesday morning, with some of its debris falling in a safe area in the Pacific Ocean, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said.

"The Tianzhou-4 cargo spacecraft entered the atmosphere at 7:21 a.m. local time on November 15 (23:21 GMT on November 14). Most of the ship was destroyed and a small amount of debris fell into the designated safe waters in the South Seas of the Pacific Ocean," CMSA said in a statement.

In May, Tianzhou-4 delivered fuel, equipment, consumables and other supplies to the Tiangong orbital station. On November 9, the cargo spacecraft successfully undocked from Tiangong and the experts managed to conduct a number of experiments with its help, gaining important experience for construction and management of the station in orbit.

Construction of the Chinese space station officially began in April 2021. The basic structure of the T-shaped Tiangong space station consists of the Tianhe core module and two laboratory modules - Wentian and Mengtian - docked to it. The station can host up to six people at the same time during a crew rotation change. The operational life of the station is 15 years and should end in 2038.

There are currently three crew members of the Shenzhou-14 working at the Tiangong orbital station. The mission was launched to the Chinese station in June and it will end in December 2022, with astronauts for the Shenzhou-15 mission replacing them. It will be the first in-orbit crew handover in China's space history.