The China National Space Administration has big plans for the near future. Chinese authorities announced that the first Chinese manned space station currently named Tiangong (“Heavenly Palace” in free translation) will be fully completed by 2020. The Project 921-2 consisting in building a module type space station was launched in 1992.
The first module consisting in a apace laboratory named Tiangong 1 is scheduled to be launched in October 2011. This target vehicle is made of a lab module, a resource module and a docking mechanism, having a final mass of only 9 tons. In this phase a crew of three astronauts will go in space with Tiangong 1 for a short term stay in space. (more…)