China's first resupply craft, Tianzhou-1, has been deorbited under orders from ground controllers.
Following a set of braking maneuvers, the robotic cargo ship plunged into Earth's atmosphere and burned up late Friday (Sept. 22) Beijing time, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency.
Tianzhou-1 launched on April 20 and docked with China's orbiting Tiangong-2 space lab two days later.
Over the past five months, Tianzhou-1 and Tiangong-2 accomplished a trio of refueling sequences: One on April 27, a second on June 15 and a final one on Sept. 16, Xinhua reported.
Tiangong-2 was unoccupied during these activities.
Chinese space officials view the refueling and docking activities as a prelude to the country's building of a larger space station in the mid- 2020s.
Leonard David is author of "Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet," published by National Geographic. The book is a companion to the National Geographic Channel series "Mars." A longtime writer for Space.com, David has been reporting on the space industry for more than five decades. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook or Google+. This version of this story was posted on Space.com.