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|Drawing of Tiangong-1 (left) docked to Shenzhou (right)|
|Launch||September 29, 2011 21:16:03.507 CST|
|Launch pad||Jiuquan LA-4/SLS-1|
|Mass||8,506 kg (18,750 lb)|
|Length||10.4 m (34.1 ft)|
|Diameter||3.35 m (11.0 ft)|
|Pressurised volume||15 m3 (530 cu ft)|
|Days in orbit||1 |
Launched unmanned aboard a Long March 2F/G rocket, on September 29, 2011, Tiangong 1 is expected to be visited by three Shenzhou missions; the unmanned Shenzhou 8 in 2011, and the manned Shenzhou 9 and 10 in 2012.
 Design and developmentAccording to the China National Space Administration (CNSA), Tiangong-1 is an 8.5-metric-ton (19,000 lb) "space-laboratory module", capable of docking with manned and autonomous spacecraft. The Shenzhou 8, Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10 spacecraft are expected to dock with it during its two-year operational lifespan.
On September 29, 2008, Zhang Jianqi (张建启), Vice Director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO), declared in an interview with China Central Television (CCTV) that Tiangong-1 would be launched in 2010 or 2011. Xinhua later stated that Tiangong 1 launched in late 2010, and declared that the renovation of ground equipment was in progress.
In 2008, the official website of the CMSEO posted a brief description of Tiangong-1, along with Tiangong 2 and Tiangong 3, two space laboratories that are planned to launch after Tiangong-1. A model of the space station was revealed in the Chinese Lunar New Year celebration program on CCTV on January 25, 2009.
Tiangong-1 is equipped with exercise equipment and two sleep stations. The interior walls of the module have a two-color paint scheme – one color representative of the ground, and the other representative of the sky. This is intended to help the astronauts maintain their orientation in zero gravity.
By mid-2011, the construction of the Tiangong module was complete, and testing of its electronic, mechanical and thermal properties was underway. Testing was also conducted on the Long March 2F carrier rocket on which Tiangong-1 would be launched. Chinese astronauts, including two women, underwent training for manned missions to the space station.
 LaunchTiangong-1 was originally intended to be launched in August 2011, and was delivered to the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on July 23, and successfully passed a launch rehearsal test on 17 August. However, following the failed launch of a Long March 2C rocket in August 2011, the launch was postponed. Following an investigation into the August launch failure, Tiangong-1's launch was rescheduled for late September 2011, partly to coincide with the Chinese National Day on 1 October.
On September 20, the space vehicle was again rolled out to Pad 1 of the South Launch Site at Jiuquan in preparation for the rescheduled launch attempt. The launch successfully occurred at 13:16 UTC on September 29, 2011, placing Tiangong-1 into low Earth orbit. Chinese television broadcast the launch accompanied by the tune of the American patriotic song America the Beautiful, a choice of music for which it later offered no explanation.
 ApplicationsThe unmanned Shenzhou 8 mission is planned to dock with Tiangong-1 in late 2011, marking China's first orbital docking. The subsequent manned Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10 missions are planned to dock with Tiangong-1 in 2012.
Modified versions of Tiangong-1 will be used as cargo spacecraft for China's future space station. The launch mass of the cargo spacecraft is expected to be around 13 metric tons (29,000 lb), with a payload of around 6 metric tons (13,000 lb).
 VisibilityTiangong-1 may be visible to the naked eye only at lower latitudes, since it has an orbit inclination of 42 degrees.
 See also
- ^ a b "China to launch unmanned space module by Sept 30". Spacedaily.com. http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/China_to_launch_unmanned_space_module_by_Sept_30_999.html. Retrieved 2011-09-29.
- ^ "Insider: Tiangong 1 to launch in early Sept.". Beijing Times. 2011-08-24. http://english.people.com.cn/90882/7578878.html. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
- ^ 天宫一号任务飞行方案. (PDF, in Chinese). Retrieved on 2011-09-30.
- ^ a b c Xin, Dingding (2011-09-27). "Spacecraft ready to go on mission". China Daily. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/usa/china/2011-09/27/content_13799611.htm. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
- ^ a b David, Leonard (2011-03-11). "China Details Ambitious Space Station Goals". SPACE.com. http://www.space.com/11048-china-space-station-plans-details.html. Retrieved 2011-03-09. "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."
- ^ a b "Spacecraft Tiangong-1 launch delayed". China Daily. 2 September 2011. http://www.china.org.cn/china/2011-09/02/content_23337097.htm. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
- ^ "我国将于2010年-2011年发 射小型空间站". 2008-09-29. http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2008-09-29/145316381853.shtml.
- ^ "Unmanned space module to be launched in 2010, await space docking". 2009-02-28. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-02/28/content_10917086.htm.
- ^ "future plan of space laboratory system (in Chinese)". 2008-09-29. http://www.cmse.gov.cn/cha_xtzc/show.php?itemid=120.
- ^ "天宫一号"空间站已进入初样研制阶 段(图)". 2009-01-25. http://news.cctv.com/china/20090126/101153.shtml.
- ^ a b Barbosa, Rui. "China launches TianGong-1 to mark next human space flight milestone". NASASpaceflight.com. http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2011/09/china-major-human-space-flight-milestone-tiangong-1s-launch/.
- ^ Moskowitz, Clara. (2011-09-14) MSNBC. Retrieved 2011-09-17. MSNBC. Retrieved on 2011-09-30.
- ^ China Readies for Own Space Station in Test Launch. International Business Times (2011-09-21). Retrieved on 2011-09-30.
- ^ SPACE: 'Heavenly Palace' heads into space. Businessday.co.za (2011-09-21). Retrieved on 2011-09-30.
- ^ China set to 'Leap Forward in Space' as Tiangong 1 Rolls to Launch Pad. Universe Today (2011-09-26). Retrieved on 2011-09-30.
- ^ Murray, Warren (30 September 2011). "Rocket's red glaring error: China sets space launch to America the Beautiful". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/30/china-launch-america-the-beautiful. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
- ^ "China tests 1st space station module for 2011 launch". 2010-08-17. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-08/17/content_11166212.htm.
- ^ "Why Tiangong is not a Station Hub". July 2011. http://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Why_Tiangong_is_not_a_Station_Hub_999.html.
- ^ "中国研制新火箭 发射货运飞船". http://trans.wenweipo.com/gb/paper.wenweipo.com/2011/07/09/YO1107090008.htm.
- Tiangong-1 Chinese: 天宫一号; pinyin: Tiāngōng yīhào; literally "Heavenly Palace 1" or "Sky Palace 1" is the first Chinese space station
- tiangong 1 - Google Search
- Tiangong-1 blasts off|Top News|chinadaily.com.cn
- Tiangong 1 - Google Search
- Tiangong 1 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Chinese space program - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- International Space Station - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia