A Chinese space cargo ship docked with the Tianhe station. The device delivered spacesuits, equipment and fuel for the station, which will be launched in 2022.

A Chinese cargo spacecraft carrying supplies, equipment and propellants docked at a key module on the Tianhe Space Station on Sunday, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. “Tianzhou-2” made a dock with “Tianhe” at 5:01 am.

It was launched with a Long March-7 Y3 rocket at 20:55 from the Wenchang Cosmodrome on the southern island of Hainan. This was reported by the China Administration for the Development of Manned Spacecraft.

The device is designed to work throughout the year. Tianzhou 2 carried supplies for future astronauts, including food for the Shenzhou 12 crew, which will be launched next month for a three-month stay at the station. Tianzhou 2 is the second of eleven missions required to complete the construction of China’s first space station by 2022, following the launch of the first Tianhe module in late April.

Next year, China will launch two other major modules – Wentian and Mengtian – with the Long March 5B, the largest and most powerful space vehicle. The rocket, capable of launching 25 tons of payload into low-earth orbit, but scientists are worried about how it re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere after flight.

The media warned of the uncontrolled entry of the main stage of the rocket into the atmosphere. For example, the wreckage of the first Long March 5B flight in May 2020, which damaged buildings while landing in Côte d’Ivoire. The remnants of the rocket eventually fell into the Indian Ocean, but the Chinese researchers were criticized for not planning the debris re-entry into the atmosphere and poorly predicting their trajectory.