Tianzhou-1 Completes First Diversion and Second Docking

China's Tianzhou-1 cargo spacecraft completed its second docking with Tiangong 2 space lab at 2:55 pm on June 19th, after flying around the space lab.   

At 9:37 on June 19th, as commanded by the ground, Tianzhou-1 started performing diversion. Following the first ground instruction, Tiangong-2 stopped control and unlocked docking instruments and the two spacecrafts separated. Tianzhou-1 was commanded to fly around Tiangong-2 from behind to a distance of five kilometers in front of the space lab for about 90 minutes. The cargo spacecraft then manoeuvred itself around Tiangong-2, positioning itself 5 km ahead. Both craft then rotated 180 degrees in preparation for the second docking, occurring from the opposite direction to the first.

After diversion, Tianzhou-1 conducts the second docking with Tiangong-2. Leaving the mooring point 5km away closer to 30m, Tianzhou-1 contacted the docking instrument of Tiangong-2 and completed the docking.

This successful experiment consolidated the multi-directional space rendezvous technology and is significant for establishing a space station in the future.