Discover China’s Stunning Debut Panoramic Views of Tiangong Space Station

For the first time, panoramic images have been released by China, revealing the complete structure of its Tiangong space station.

Taken by a Shenzhou 16 astronaut, the historic photographs provide a stunning view of Earth in the background and showcase the station’s full 90-tonne, T-shaped structure, its massive solar panels, and main robotic arm.
The Chinese space station was completed last year. Photo: CMSA
The recent release of these images mark a significant moment in China’s three-decade crewed space programme, with the Tiangong project starting in 1992 and completed last year.

According to the space agency, there had been limited opportunities for Chinese astronauts to capture a full image of the Tiangong through its viewing windows since its construction began in 2021.


China’s Shenzhou 16 mission sends its first civilian astronaut into space

China’s Shenzhou 16 mission sends its first civilian astronaut into space

These images display the symmetry and complete structure of the Tiangong, featuring its core module Tianhe at the center and two laboratory modules, Mengtian and Wentian, docked at either side, each with a pair of 55-meter solar panels.

Additionally, the images showcase the Shenzhou 17 spacecraft and Tianzhou 6 cargo ship docked at the front and rear of the Tianhe module, as well as the space station’s 10-meter robotic arm and slots for exposure experiments.

The core module sits at the centre, with two laboratory modules on either side. Photo: CMSA

Despite its smaller size, the Chinese space station still provides over half the capacity for experiments of the International Space Station and a more spacious living and working environment for astronauts.

China’s next space mission set to reveal secrets from the far side of the moon

Plans to expand the Tiangong from a three-module, T-shaped structure to a six-module, cross-shaped one in coming years have been confirmed by senior Chinese space officials, who expect to double the space station’s capabilities in low-Earth orbit.


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