space station

Zhou Jianping, Chief Designer of China Manned Space Engineering Program, said that from many aspects Tiangong will surpass the space station Mir (operated by the Soviet Union and later by Russia) and be close to the level of ISS.

China's space station to surpass ISS in parts of technology

Tiangong is designed with a core module and two experiment modules, holding three astronauts at a time and six astronauts during the rotation in the short term, said Zhou.

With three docking ports, Tiangong allows manned spacecraft, cargo spacecraft and other crafts to dock. An optical module carrying Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will fly in the same orbit with Tiangong, getting repaired and supplied when docking with the space station, added Zhou.

Tiangong will run in the orbit around 393 kilometers away from the earth for at least ten years. It may operate for more years after maintenance and be expanded based on scientific research demand.