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Tiangong 1



Tiangong 1, a Chinese satellite, was launched from Jiuquan on 29 September 2011 at 13:16 UT by a Long March 2F rocket. Tiangong 1, which means heavenly palace in English, weighed approximately 8506 kg and measured 12 m long with a diameter of 3.3 m.

Tiangong 1 is the first Chinese space laboratory module launched on a critical test flight to demonstrate the vital docking technology required for a future space station. The new module will be mainly used to carry out the rendezvous and docking test, as well as the mastering of the technologies related to rendezvous and docking and accumulate the experience for the construction, management and operation of a space station. It will be positioned several hundred miles above Earth and is composed of two cylindrical sections with a docking port on its front-end. The two modules are known as the experimental module and the resource module.

The Tiangong 1 spacecraft is expected to stay in orbit for two years and rendezvous and dock with three different spaceships. At least one of the future launches is to be manned and the taikonaut of that launch will stay on-board for a maximum of two weeks. China's goal is to build a space station by 2020.

Alternate Names

  • 37820

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2011-09-29
Launch Vehicle: Long March 2F
Launch Site: Jiuquan, Peoples Republic of China
Mass: 8506.0 kg

Funding Agency

  • China National Space Administration (Peoples Republic of China)


  • Engineering

Additional Information

Questions or comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office.

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