Tiangong 1

Tiangong 1

Infobox Space mission
mission_name = "Tiangong 1" (天宫一号)
insignia =
sign =
crew_members =
launch_pad =
launch = ~2010-2011 (in plan)
landing =
crew_photo =
crew_caption =
next = "Tiangong 2"
previous =
duration = 2 years (in plan)
orbits =

Tiangong 1 is a "target vessel" of China in development, that is, a target for other vehicles to dock with. It is planned to be launched after Shenzhou 7 and before Shenzhou 8. According to CNSA, it will be an eight ton "space laboratory module", and it is planned that Shenzhou 8, Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10 will dock with Tiangong 1 in two years (which is also its lifespan in design) after the launching of the latter to form China's first space station.

At 29 Sept. 2008, just after Shenzhou 7 returned, Zhang Jianqi ( _zh. 张建启), Vice Director of China manned space engineering, declared in an interview of China Central Television [cite web|url=http://news.sina.com.cn/c/2008-09-29/145316381853.shtml|title=China will launch small space station in 2010-2011 (in Chinese)|date=2008-09-29] that Tiangong 1 will be launched at 2010~2011 circa. He also provided relating information about Tiangong 1 as described above.

The official site of China manned space engineering also gave a very brief description [cite web|url=http://www.cmse.gov.cn/cha_xtzc/show.php?itemid=120|title=future plan of space laboratory system (in Chinese)|date=2008-09-29] of Tiangong 1 along with Tiangong 2 and Tiangong 3, two space laboratories that are planned to launch after Tiangong 1 before 2015.

"Tiangong" means "palace in heaven" in Chinese.



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