Chinese Space Station: Core module TianHe

Info Shymkent - Tianhe is the Core Module of Chinese Space Station and is expected to launch in March 2021

China wants to build its own outpost in Orbit in 2021. The first module will be the core module TianHe. Info Shymkent had a look on this project.


  • Name: TianHe (天和) is Chinese for Milky way
  • Length: 18.1 m
  • Diameter: 4.1 m (living compartment)
  • Weight: 22.5 t (empty) / 24 t (with goods & equipment)
  • Docking ports: Five and one EVA hatch
  • Energy supply: Two 11 meter long and 4.6 width solar arrays
  • Expected life time: 10 years
  • Launch vehicle: Long March 5
Info Shymkent - Core Module of Chinese Space Station Tianhe with labels
Descriptions of the Core Module TianHe of the Chinese Space Station.

Mission Timeline

From Draft till Launch

21st September 1992: China revealed it’s manned space program – called Project 921 (Date: 9/21/1992) – to build in the third phase a long-term modular space station.

25th September 2010: Release of financial resources to built Project 921-3 – the manned modular space station.

March 2011: China revealed the time schedule for building a modular space station and to launch the first core module in 2018. Two science modules will dock with the core module till 2022.

October 31, 2013: The core module of China’s first modular space station got the name TianHe (Chinese: Milky Way).

April 2017: Final preparation, assembly and testing started for TianHe.

2nd July 2017: The Long March 5 (LM5) rocket had a failure during its second launch. This rocket type is planned to bring TianHe into orbit. The next flight of LM5 was in 27th December 2019. Because of the issue on the Long March 5 rocket the launch of the TianHe module was delayed for two and a half years.

June 2018: First underwater training for future taikonauts started.

6th November 2018: A full-scale model of TianHe was revealed at China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition in Zhuhai, China.

6th January 2021: The production of Long March 5B rocket for TianHe was completed.

4th February 2021: The space station core module was delivered to the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center at Hainan Island, China.

23th February 2021: The Long March 5B rocket for the Chinese Space Station core module arrived at the spaceport Wenchang.

Launch and Operation

April 2021: Launch of the TianHe core module is expected for this month.