China has successfully completed the in-space refuelling of orbital satellites following last week's launch of a new-generation carrier rocket, the National University of Defense Technology announced on Thursday.
Similar to air refueling for planes, the process involves the refueling of a satellite in orbit in a microgravity environment and will extend a satellite's functional life and considerably boost its maneuverability.
Developed by the university, Tianyuan-1 is the country's first in-space refueling system for orbital satellites. It was sent in orbit aboard the Long March-7 carrier rocket on Saturday.
A series of core independent processes was tested and verified after the launch, with data and videos recording the full process sent back to earth, the university said in a statement.
"The injection process was stable, and measurements and controls were precise," the statement said.
It added that the test proved that Tianyuan-1 met design requirements. Though an area of great interest, the process is complicated and only a few countries have began similar experiments.
China launched its Long March-7 carrier rocket successfully on Saturday from Wenchang, South China's Hainan Province.