The Tiangong-1 is the Chinese Nation’s first space station. The name means Heavenly Palace 1. It was launched on September 20th, 2011, on a Long March 2 F/G rocket. The idea is to use the space station as a training regimen for docking and living and working in zero gravity for a new generation of Chinese scientist and engineers.
The first training mission was the Zhenzhou 8, a robot docking module not unlike the Soviet TM-9. Recently the second mission, the Zhenzhou 9 launched and carried China’s first female astronaut 33-year-old air force pilot named Liu Yang. Not unlike America that tends to put up combat pilots into space, so too China found that a person familiar with advanced flight control systems be the pilot of an historic mission. You see China has been fast and meticulous and they have a plan. They first sent a man into space in 2003.Then in 2008 they performed a space walk. Now they have a miniature space station and are learning coking maneuvers. They plan to put a person on the moon by 2016 and have an active space station by 2020.
Zhenzhou 9 will doc with Tiangong-1.