|Mass||22,000 kilograms (49,000 lb)|
|Length||18.1 meters (59 ft)|
|Diameter||4.2 meters (14 ft)|
Tiangong-3 (Chinese : 天 宫 三 号 ; pinyin :Tiāngōng sānhào; lit. : 'Heavenly Palace 3') was a proposed Chinese space station, part of the Tiangong space station program. The China National Space Agency was originally expected to launch Tiangong-3 around 2015, following the launch of the Tiangong-2 test laboratory, originally planned for 2013. The goals for the Tiangong-2 and Tiangong-3 laboratories were eventually merged, and the latter was therefore not ordered.
In 2008, the China Manned Space Engineering Office published a brief description of Tiangong-2 and Tiangong-3, indicating that several crewed spaceships would be launched in the late 2010s to dock with Tiangong-3.The first Tiangong module, Tiangong-1, was launched in September 2011, and docked with the uncrewed Shenzhou 8 spacecraft in November 2011, marking China's first orbital docking.
Tiangong-3's 22-metric-ton core module was expected to be around 18.1 metres (59 ft) long and have a maximum diameter of 4.2 metres (14 ft). It was expected to provide:
A space station, also known as an orbital station or an orbital space station, is a spacecraft capable of supporting a human crew in orbit for an extended period of time. It lacks major propulsion or landing systems. Stations must have docking ports to allow other spacecraft to dock to transfer crew and supplies.
Shenzhou is a spacecraft developed and operated by China using Soyuz technology to support its crewed spaceflight program. The name is variously translated as Divine vessel, Divine craft, or Divine ship. Its design resembles the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, but it is larger in size. The first launch was on 19 November 1999 and the first crewed launch was on 15 October 2003. In March 2005, an asteroid was named 8256 Shenzhou in honour of the spacecraft.
The space program of the People's Republic of China is directed by the China National Space Administration (CNSA). Its technological roots can be traced back to the late 1950s, when China began a ballistic missile program in response to perceived American threats. However, the first Chinese crewed space program only began several decades later, when an accelerated program of technological development culminated in Yang Liwei's successful 2003 flight aboard Shenzhou 5. This achievement made China the third country to independently send humans into space. Plans currently include a permanent Chinese space station in 2022 and crewed expeditions to the Moon.
Tiangong is a space station program of the People's Republic of China, with the goal of creating a modular space station, comparable to Mir. This program is independent and unconnected to any other international space-active countries. The program began in 1992 as Project 921-2. As of January 2013, China moved forward on a large multiphase construction program that will lead to a large space station around 2020.
The Chinese large modular space station is a planned space station to be placed in Low Earth orbit. The planned Chinese Space Station will be roughly one-fifth the mass of the International Space Station and about the size of the decommissioned Russian Mir space station. The Chinese station is expected to have a mass between 80 and 100 tonnes. Operations will be controlled from the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center in China. The planned launch date of the core module, the Tianhe, is 2021. In 2017, the Chinese launched the Tianzhou-1 cargo spaceship, which is based on the Tiangong 1 and 2 space laboratories.
Shenzhou 8 was an uncrewed flight of China's Shenzhou program, launched on October 31, 2011 UTC, or November 1 in China, by a Long March 2F rocket which lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
Shenzhou 10 was a crewed spaceflight of China's Shenzhou program that was launched on 11 June 2013. It was China's fifth crewed space mission. The mission had a crew of three astronauts: Nie Haisheng, who was mission commander and previously flew on Shenzhou 6; Zhang Xiaoguang, a former PLAAF squadron commander who conducted the rendezvous and docking; and Wang Yaping, the second Chinese female astronaut. The Shenzhou spacecraft docked with the Tiangong-1 trial space laboratory module on 13 June, and the astronauts performed physical, technological, and scientific experiments while on board. Shenzhou 10 was the final mission to Tiangong 1 in this portion of the Tiangong program. On 26 June 2013, after a series of successful docking tests, Shenzhou 10 returned to Earth.
The Shenzhou program is a crewed spaceflight initiative by China. The program put the first Chinese citizen, Yang Liwei, into orbit on 15 October 2003.
Several Asian countries have space programs and are actively competing to achieve scientific and technological advancements in space, a situation sometimes referred to as the Asian space race in the popular media as a reference to the earlier Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. Like the previous space race, issues involved in the current push to space include national security, which has spurred many countries to send artificial satellites as well as humans into Earth orbit and beyond. A number of Asian countries are seen as contenders in the ongoing race to be the pre-eminent power in space.
Tiangong-1 was China's first prototype space station. It orbited Earth from September 2011 to April 2018, serving as both a crewed laboratory and an experimental testbed to demonstrate orbital rendezvous and docking capabilities during its two years of active operational life.
Tiangong-2 was a Chinese space laboratory and part of the Project 921-2 space station program. Tiangong-2 was launched on 15 September 2016. It was deorbited as planned on 19 July 2019.
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Docking and berthing of spacecraft is the joining of two space vehicles. This connection can be temporary, or partially permanent such as for space station modules.
The Tianhe, code name TH, or Core Cabin Module (CCM) is the foundation element of the Chinese space station, as the final stage of Project 921 Tiangong program, part of the Chinese space program. The CCM follows the Salyut and Almaz series, Cosmos 557, Skylab, Mir, ISS, Tiangong 1 and Tiangong 2 space stations. It is the first part of a third generation modular space station. Other examples of modular station projects include the Soviet/Russian Mir, Russian OPSEK, and the International Space Station. Operations will be controlled from the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center in the People's Republic of China. In 2018 fullscale mockup of CCM was publicly presented at China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai.
The Laboratory Cabin Modules (LCM)s are a major element of the Chinese space station, based on Tiangong-2, as the final stage of Project 921 Tiangong, part of the Chinese space program. While China's small unmanned spacecraft can provide platforms for zero gravity and exposure to space for scientific research, the LCMs offer a long term environment combined with ready access by human researchers over periods that far exceed the capabilities of Shenzhou spacecraft. Operations will be controlled from the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center in the People's Republic of China.
Shenzhou 11 was a crewed spaceflight of the Shenzhou program of China, launched on 17 October 2016 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was China's sixth crewed space mission, and its longest to date, at 33 days. Two days after launch, it docked with the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, which had been launched on September 15, 2016.
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The Tianzhou is a Chinese automated cargo spacecraft developed from China's first prototype space station Tiangong-1 to resupply its future modular space station. It was first launched on the Long March 7 rocket from Wenchang on April 20, 2017 and demonstrated autonomous propellant transfer.
China is ready to carry out a multiphase construction program that leads to the large space station around 2020. As a prelude to building that facility, China is set to loft the Tiangong-1 module this year as a platform to help master key rendezvous and docking technologies.
China often chooses poetic names for its space projects, such as Chang'e – after the moon goddess – for its lunar probes; its rocket series, however, is named Long March, in tribute to communist history. The space station project is currently referred to as Tiangong, or "heavenly palace".