Transposition successfully! Tiangong space station changed from the “one” configuration to the “L”


Tiangong space station[1] Wentian module [2] successfully transposed.

On September 30, Tiangong space station achieved the first large-scale module in-orbit transposition operation, and the space station assembly changed from a two-module “one” configuration to an “L” configuration, and the entire transposition process lasted about 1 hour.

Tiangong space station

Tiangong space station

Tiangong space station


Tiangong ( Chinese: 天宮; pinyin : Tiāngōng; lit. ‘ Palace in the Sky ‘ ), officially the Tiangong space station ( Chinese: 天宫空间站; pinyin: Tiāngōng kōngjiānzhàn ), is a space station being constructed by China and operated by China Manned Space Agency ( CMSA ) in low Earth orbit between 340 and 450 km ( 210 and 280 mi ) above the surface.

Being China’s first long-term space station and the core of the “Third Step” of the China Manned Space Program, once completed, Tiangong will have a mass between 80 and 100 t (180,000 and 220,000 lb), roughly one-fifth the mass of the International Space Station and about the size of the decommissioned Russian Mir space station.

The construction of the station is based on the experience gained from its precursors, Tiangong-1 and Tiangong-2.

The first module, the Tianhe (“Harmony of the Heavens”) core module, was launched on 29 April 2021, followed by multiple crewed and uncrewed missions and two more major modules to be launched in 2022.

Chinese leaders have expressed the hope that the research conducted on the station will improve researchers’ ability to conduct science experiments in space beyond the duration and capacity offered by China’s existing space laboratories.

Wentian module

Wentian module

Wentian module

Wentian ( simplified Chinese: 问天; traditional Chinese: 問天; pinyin: Wèn Tiān; lit. ‘ Quest for the Heavens ‘), officially the Wentian laboratory cabin module ( Chinese: 问天实验舱 ), is a major module of the Tiangong space station.

It is the first Laboratory Cabin Module launched, and the first module to extend the existing Tianhe core module of the station.

It was launched into orbit from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site on 24 July 2022, successfully docking with Tianhe forward port at 19:13 UTC on the same day. On 25 July 2022 at 02:03 UTC, the crew of Shenzhou 14 opened the hatch and entered the module for the first time.

Wentian was later relocated to the starboard port on 30 September 2022 at 04:44 UTC by indexing robot arm to make way for the upcoming Mengtian module.

The Future

Tiangong space station assembly will fly in orbit in the “L” configuration until the arrival of the Mengtian module[3] and then transposed to the “T” configuration.

The Mengtian module is expected to launch in October.

Mengtian module

Mengtian module

Mengtian module

Mengtian ( simplified Chinese: 梦天; traditional Chinese: 夢天; pinyin: Mèng Tiān; lit. ‘ Dreaming of Heavens ‘), officially the Mengtian laboratory cabin module ( Chinese: 梦天实验舱 ), is a major module of the Tiangong space station.

It will be the second Laboratory Cabin Module launched, and the second module to extend the existing Tianhe core module of the station.


[1]Tiangong space station – Wikipedia

[2]Wentian module – Wikipedia

[3]Mengtian module – Wikipedia

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  1. 666 Looking forward to “T”

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