Tag Archives: Tiangong 1

China shuts down its first space station

Though still in orbit, China has turned off Tiangong-1, its first space station, launched in 2011 and since visited by three manned crews.

The news story, from the state-run Chinese news organization, notes that the module’s orbit will slowly decay and eventually burn up in the atmosphere. It does not say how the Chinese intend to control that re-entry, since Tiangong-1 is likely large enough for some parts of it to survive and hit the ground.

An update on the Chinese manned program.

An update on the Chinese manned program.

The original script called for [the space station] Tiangong 1 to be followed by Tiangong 2, which would have been a module of the same basic design as Tiangong 1. Tiangong 2 was expected to have tested more advanced life-support systems than Tiangong 1, but there would be no major changes to the spacecraft. It was expected that two or three crews would be launched to this module.

Towards the end of the decade, China would then launch Tiangong 3, which was slated to be an entirely different class of spacecraft. It would be larger and more capable. Tiangong 3 was expected by some analysts to be a precursor to the types of modules to be used in China’s future space station, slated for launch around 2020.

According to Yang’s presentation, we can forget about Tiangong 2. Or at least, we can forget about Tiangong 2 as it was originally planned. China still plans to launch a mission with this name, but it would seem that the large laboratory module originally known as “Tiangong 3” has now been designated as the new Tiangong 2.

In other words, China is accelerating the admittedly slow pace of their manned program.

China is in its final preparations for the launch of its next manned mission.

The new colonial movement: China is in its final preparations for the launch of its next manned mission, expected any day now.

This is the key quote from the article:

China aims to build a space station around 2020 based on the space rendezvous and docking technology that is currently being tested. Several components will be sent into space separately before being assembled into a space station through a variety of docking procedures.

China’s next launch of its Shenzhou capsule will be manned

China’s next launch of its Shenzhou capsule this summer will be manned.

It seems those rumors weren’t true. Or maybe they were.

Just like in the 1960s with the Soviet Union, the only way to find out what exactly is going on in the Chinese space program is to wait for something to actually happen.