Shenzhou-13 astronauts complete manual rendezvous, docking of space station, cargo craft
The Shenzhou-13 astronauts in China's space station core module have completed the manual rendezvous and docking experiment with the Tianzhou-2 cargo craft, the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) said Saturday.
At the beginning of the experiment, the astronauts in the core module teleoperated the Tianzhou-2 cargo craft to leave the front docking port of the core module's node cabin and move to the planed parking point, with the coordination of ground control engineers.
After a short stay in the parking point, the cargo craft moved toward the space station complex and completed the rendezvous and docking by the teleoperation of astronauts. The experiment took about two hours and was completed at 7:55am (Beijing Time), said the CMSA.
The manual teleoperation is a backup for automated rendezvous and docking of unmanned visiting spacecraft. The experiment was the first time that Chinese astronauts used manual teleoperation equipment to operate the cargo craft and the space station to conduct rendezvous and docking.
The experiment also tested the function and the performance of manual teleoperation equipment, as well as the coordination procedure between space and Earth, the CMSA added.