China's new-generation spacecraft, launched earlier this week, is operating normally in orbit after completing a number of planned operations, the space agency said on Thursday.
The experimental spaceship was launched on Tuesday by China's new long rocket Long March-5B from the Wenchang Space Launch Center in Hainan without a crew.
So far, the new spacecraft has deployed its solar panels and positioned it toward the sun, inserted its relay antenna and established a relay communication link, and carried out four autonomous orbit controls, the state-run Xinhua news agency quoted the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) as saying.
The spaceship is now in a stable flight position in a strongly elliptical orbit, with the power supply, the measurements and the control connections being normal, the CASC announced on Wednesday.
Next, as planned, it will raise the orbit three times and reenter the atmosphere and return to Earth after braking at the apogee, it said.
It is planned to land at Dongfeng Airfield in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in northern China on Friday, said Ji Qiming, an assistant to the director of the China Manned Space Agency.
China initiated the manned space program in 1992. In recent years it has become a major space power with manned space missions and the landing of a rover on the dark side of the moon. A space station is currently being built and is expected to be completed by 2022.
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