The Tiangong program (Chinese :天宫空间站工程; pinyin :Tiāngōng kōngjiānzhàn gōngchéng) is China's space program to create a modular space station, comparable to Mir. This program is independent and unconnected to any other international space-active countries. The program is part of the China Manned Space Program that began in 1992. The core module, the Tianhe ("Harmony of the Heavens") was finally launched on 29 April 2021 marking the start of the Tiangong Space program deployment.
China launched its first space laboratory, Tiangong-1, on 29 September 2011. Following Tiangong-1, a more advanced space laboratory complete with cargo spacecraft, dubbed Tiangong-2, was launched on 15 September 2016. The first module of the 12 part new series of Tiangong space station launched on 29 April 2021.
The project will culminate with the Tiangong space station, which consist of a 22.6-ton core module and cargo transport craft, with two more major research modules to be launched in 2022.It supports three astronauts for long-term habitation.
After the United States threatened to use nuclear weapons during the Korean War,Mao Zedong decided that only a nuclear deterrent of its own would guarantee the security of the newly founded PRC. Thus, Mao announced his decision to develop China's own strategic weapons, including associated missiles. After the launch of mankind's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957, Mao decided to put China on an equal footing with the superpowers ("我们也要搞人造卫星"), using Project 581 with the idea of putting a satellite in orbit by 1959 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the PRC's founding. However, it would not be until 24 April 1970 that this goal would become a reality.
Mao and Zhou Enlai began the PRC's crewed space program on 14 July 1967.China's first crewed spacecraft design was named Shuguang-1 (曙光一号) in January 1968. Project 714 was officially adopted in April 1971 with the goal of sending two astronauts into space by 1973 aboard the Shuguang spacecraft. The first screening process for astronauts had already ended on 15 March 1971, with 19 astronauts chosen. The program was soon cancelled due to political turmoil.
The next crewed space program was even more ambitious and was proposed in March 1986 as Project 863. This consisted of a crewed spacecraft (Project 863–204) used to ferry astronaut crews to a space station (Project 863–205). Several spaceplane designs were rejected two years later and a simpler space capsule was chosen instead. Although the project did not achieve its goals, it would ultimately become the 1992 Project 921, encompassing the Shenzhou program, the Tiangong program, and the Chinese space station.
On the 50th anniversary of the People's Republic of China's founding, China launched the Shenzhou 1 spacecraft on 20 November 1999 and recovered it after a flight of 21 hours. The country became the third country with a successful crewed space program by sending Yang Liwei into space aboard Shenzhou 5 on 15 October 2003 for more than 21 hours. It was a major success for Chinese space programs.
In 1999, Project 921-2 was finally given official authorization. Two versions of the station were studied: an 8-metric ton "space laboratory" and 20-metric ton "space station".[ citation needed ] In 2000, the first model of the planned space station was unveiled at Expo 2000 in Hanover, Germany. This was made up of modules derived from the orbital module of the Shenzhou spacecraft. Overall length of the station would be around 20 m, with a total mass of under 40 metric tons, with possibility of expansion through addition of further modules.[ citation needed ]
In 2001, Chinese engineers described a three-step process toward the realization of Project 921. The original target date for the fulfillment of the project was 2010.[ citation needed ]
Originally, China planned to simply dock Shenzhou 8 and Shenzhou 9 together to form a simple space laboratory. However, it was decided to abandon that plan and launch a small space laboratory instead. In 2007, plans for an 8-metric ton "space laboratory" being launched in 2010 under the designation of Tiangong-1 were made public. This would be an eight-ton space laboratory module with two docking ports. Subsequent flights (Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10) will dock with the laboratory.
On 29 September 2008, Zhang Jianqi (张建启), Vice Director of China crewed space engineering, declared in an interview of China Central Television (CCTV), it is Tiangong-1 that will be the 8-ton "target vehicle", and Shenzhou 8, Shenzhou 9, and Shenzhou 10 will all be spaceships to dock with Tiangong-1 in turn. On 1 October 2008, Shanghai Space Administration, which participated in the development of Shenzhou 8, stated that they succeeded in the simulated experiments for the docking of Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou 8.
In September 2010, the central government formally approved the implementation of China's manned space station project, and plans to build a large-scale, long-term manned national space laboratory around 2020.
On 16 June 2012, Shenzhou 9 was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Inner Mongolia, China, carrying a crew of three. The Shenzhou craft successfully docked with the Tiangong-1 laboratory on 18 June 2012, at 06:07 UTC, marking China's first crewed spacecraft docking.
On 11 June 2013, China launched Shenzhou 10 with a crew of three headed for the Tiangong-1.
Tiangong-2 space laboratory launched on 15 September 2016.This was first crewed with Shenzhou 11 which launched on 17 October 2016 (16 October UTC) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center and docked two days later.
The full 60-metric ton space station will support three astronauts for long-term habitation. The core module, the Tianhe ("Harmony of the Heavens"), launched on 29 April 2021.The Tianhe module was first crewed with the Shenzhou 12 mission which launched and docked on 17 June 2021.
Chinese efforts to develop low Earth orbit space station capabilities will begin with a space laboratory phase, with the launch of three Tiangong test vehicles (later reduced to two).
The Chinese docking target consists of a propulsion (resource) module and a pressurized module for experiments, with a docking mechanism at either end. The docking port of the experiment section supports automated docking. 10.5 m (34 ft), diameter is 3.4 m (11 ft), with a mass of 8,000 kg (18,000 lb). Launched on 29 September 2011, it was intended for short stays of a crew of three. The second docking port, on the propulsion module, was kept screened from press photography inside and outside the module. It re-entered and burned up in the atmosphere on 2 April 2018, at 00:16 UTC.Its length is
A second and a third test station were originally planned to precede the eventual modular station. These would be 14.4 m (47 ft) long, with a diameter of 4.2 m (14 ft), and weigh up to 20,000 kg (44,000 lb). The second one would provide life support for a crew of 2 for 20 days, and the third one a crew of 3 for 40 days. However, all the objectives of these two stations were later merged into one project, and the size scaled down to less than 10,000 kg (22,000 lb).
The resulting Tiangong-2 space laboratory was launched on 15 September 2016.The station made a controlled reentry on 19 July 2019 and burned up over the South Pacific Ocean.
A third space station proposed but later cancelled in favor of advancing to the new large modular station.
China plans to build the world's third multi-module space station, to follow Mir and the International Space Station (ISS).This was dependent upon the date of OPSEK's separation from the ISS but after a statement in September 2017, the head of Roscosmos Igor Komarov said that the technical feasibility of separating the station to form OPSEK had been studied and there were now "no plans to separate the Russian segment from the ISS".
The previous separate components will be integrated into a space station, arranged as:
The larger station will be assembled in 2021–2022 and have a design lifetime of at least ten years. The complex will weigh approximately 60,000 kg (130,000 lb) and will support three astronauts for long-term habitation. The public is being asked to submit suggestions for names and symbols to adorn the space station and cargo spacecraft. "Considering past achievements and the bright future, we feel that the crewed space program should have a more vivid symbol and that the future space station should carry a resounding and encouraging name", Wang Wenbao, director of the office, said at the news conference. "We now feel that the public should be involved in the names and symbols as this major project will enhance national prestige, and strengthen the national sense of cohesion and pride", Wang said.
The core module, the Tianhe ("Harmony of the Heavens"), launched on 29 April 2021.
Tiangong has an orbital altitude similar to that of the ISS and has approximately one-fifth the mass.
After the success of China's crewed space launch, a Chinese official expressed interest in joining the International Space Station program.In 2010, European Space Agency ESA Director-General Jean-Jacques Dordain stated that his agency was ready to propose to the four other partners (CSA, JAXA, NASA, and Roscosmos) that China, India, and South Korea be invited to join the ISS partnership. China has indicated a willingness to cooperate further with other countries on crewed exploration.
The space program of the People's Republic of China is about the activities in outer space conducted and directed by the People's Republic of China. The roots of the Chinese space program trace back to the 1950s, when, with the help of the newly allied Soviet Union, China began development of its first ballistic missile and rocket programs in response to the perceived American threats. Driven by the successes of Soviet Sputnik 1 and American Explorer 1 satellite launches in 1957 and 1958 respectively, China would launch its first satellite, Dong Fang Hong 1 in April 1970 aboard a Long March 1 rocket, making it the fifth nation to place a satellite in orbit.
Tiangong, officially the Tiangong space station, is a permanently crewed space station constructed by China and operated by China Manned Space Agency in low Earth orbit between 340 and 450 km above the surface. It is China's first long-term space station, part of the Tiangong program and the core of the "Third Step" of the China Manned Space Program; it has a pressurised volume of 340 m3, slightly over one third the size of the International Space Station.
Shenzhou 8 was an uncrewed flight of China's Shenzhou program, launched on 31 October 2011 UTC, or 1 November 2011 in China, by a Long March 2F rocket which lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
Shenzhou 9 was the fourth crewed spacecraft flight of China's Shenzhou program, launched at 18:37:24 CST, 16 June 2012. Shenzhou 9 was the second spacecraft and first crewed mission and expedition to dock with the Tiangong-1 space station, which took place on 18 June. The Shenzhou 9 spacecraft landed at 10:01:16 CST on 29 June in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The mission's crew included the first Chinese female astronaut, Liu Yang. The next mission was Shenzhou 10, which launched on 11 June 2013.
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 2nd and final expedition and 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 China Manned Space Program, also known as Project 921 is a space program developed by the People's Republic of China and run by the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) under the Equipment Development Department of the Central Military Commission, designed to develop and enhance human spaceflight capabilities for China. It was approved on 21 September 1992 and has been in operation ever since. The CMS commander and director are currently Xu Xueqiang and Zhou Jianping respectively; the latter has held this position since 2006, after taking over from Wang Yongzhi, who served as the first director from 1992 to 2006.
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.
Tiangong-3 was a proposed Chinese space station, part of the Tiangong program. The China National Space Agency (CNSA) 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 merged, and the latter was therefore not ordered. The first module of the third station of the Tiangong program, Tiangong space station, was eventually launched in 2021.
Tianhe, officially the Tianhe core module, is the first module to launch of the Tiangong space station. It was launched into orbit on 29 April 2021, as the first launch of the final phase of Tiangong program, part of the China Manned Space Program.
The Laboratory Cabin Module (LCM) are modular components of the Tiangong space station. Based on the Tiangong-2 experimental space module, the LCMs complete the third and final stage of Project 921, the CNSA's program to establish a permanent Chinese space station. While China's small uncrewed 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 China.
Mengtian, officially the Mengtian laboratory cabin module, is a major module of the Tiangong space station. It is the second Laboratory Cabin Module launched, after Wentian, and the second module to extend the existing Tianhe core module of the station. It was launched into orbit from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on 31 October 2022, successfully docking with Tianhe forward port at 20:27 UTC on the same day.
Tianzhou 2 was a mission of the Tianzhou-class unmanned cargo spacecraft. The launch took place at 29 May 2021, 12:55:29 UTC. The spacecraft successfully docked with the Tiangong space station later on the same day.
Shenzhou 13 was a Chinese spaceflight launched on 15 October 2021 at 16:23 UTC. The flight marked the eighth crewed Chinese spaceflight and the thirteenth flight of the Shenzhou program. The spacecraft carried three People's Liberation Army Astronaut Corps (PLAAC) taikonauts on the second flight to the Tianhe core module, the first module of the Tiangong space station. The launch of the three-person crew with a Long March-2F launch vehicle took place from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
Shenzhou 12 was a Chinese spaceflight launched on 17 June 2021. The flight marked the seventh crewed Chinese spaceflight and the twelfth flight of the Shenzhou program. The spacecraft carried three members of the People's Liberation Army Astronaut Corps (PLAAC) on the first flight to the Tianhe core module, the first module of the Tiangong space station. This was the first Chinese crewed spaceflight since Shenzhou 11 in 2016.
Tianzhou 4 was the fourth mission of the Tianzhou-class unmanned cargo spacecraft, and the third resupply mission to Tiangong Space Station carrying 5 tons of cargos and 1 ton of propellant. It is the largest load capacity cargo spacecraft that is on active duty. It launched on 9 May 2022, docking successfully with the Tiangong space station at the aft port 6 hours after launch. Like previous Tianzhou missions, the spacecraft launched from the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center in Hainan, China on a Long March 7 rocket.
Shenzhou 14 was a Chinese spaceflight that launched on 5 June 2022 at 02:44 UTC. The flight marked the ninth crewed Chinese spaceflight and the fourteenth flight of the Shenzhou program. The spacecraft carried three People's Liberation Army Astronaut Corps (PLAAC) taikonauts on the third flight to the Tianhe core module, the first module of the Tiangong space station. The launch of the three-person crew with a Long March 2F launch vehicle took place from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
Shenzhou 15 was a Chinese spaceflight that launched on 29 November 2022, at 15:08 UTC. The flight marked the tenth crewed Chinese spaceflight and the fifteenth flight of the Shenzhou program. The spacecraft carried 3 People's Liberation Army Astronaut Corps (PLAAC) taikonauts on the fourth flight to the Tianhe core module, the first module of the Tiangong space station. The 3 taikonauts onboard the flight were Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu. The launch of the three-person crew with a Long March 2F launch vehicle took place from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.
Wentian, officially the Wentian laboratory cabin module, is a major module of the Tiangong space station. It is the first Laboratory Cabin Module launched, and the first module to extend the existing Tianhe core module of the station. It was launched into orbit from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on 24 July 2022, successfully docking with Tianhe forward port at 19:13 UTC on the same day. On 25 July 2022 at 02:03 UTC, the crew of Shenzhou 14 opened the hatch and entered the module for the first time.
Shenzhou 16 is a Chinese spaceflight to the Tiangong space station, launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on 30 May, 2023 at 9:31 AM CST on board a Shenzhou spacecraft. It carries two People's Liberation Army Astronaut Corps (PLAAC) taikonauts and a payload specialist from Beihang University. The mission is the eleventh crewed and sixteenth flight overall of the Shenzhou program.
China's most adventurous space endeavor, the multimodule space station, named Tiangong, or Heavenly Palace, will be mainly composed of three components
The Tianhe module will act as the management and control hub of the space station Tiangong, meaning Heavenly Palace
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".
China is ready to carry out a multiphase construction program that leads to a 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.
最终决定沿用"天宫"作为载人空间站的整体名称，但后面不再加序号 (The final decision was to use "Tiangong" as the overall name of the manned space station, but without the serial number at the end)
"天宫二号"后，不再开发"天宫三号"，中国将直接进入空间站时代，空间站预计2022年建成 (After "Tiangong-2", no longer develop "Tiangong-3", China will directly enter the era of space station, the space station is expected to be completed in 2022)