In Photos: Tiangong-1, China's Space Station Fell to Earth

Shenzhou 9 Crew Aboard Tiangong 1


The crew of China's Shenzhou 9 mission waves to a camera aboard the Tiangong 1 space module after successfully docking their capsule at the test module on June 18, 2012, in this still from a state-run TV broadcast on CNTV The crew is (from left) Liu Wang, Liu Yang (China's first female astronaut), and mission commander Jing Haipeng.

On the Launch Pad


The Shenzhou X spacecraft carried by a Long March-2F carrier rocket is installed at the launch pad in Jiuquan, Northwest China's Gansu province in the morning of June 3, 2013. China will launch the Shenzhou X spacecraft in the middle of June, a spokesperson for the manned space program was quoted as saying by China Central Television on June 3. The spacecraft will carry three astronauts to visit the Tiangong-1 space module, state media reported.

Shenzhou 10 Approaches TIangong-1 Space Station

China Manned Space Engineering

An exterior camera on China's Tiangong 1 module captures the approach of the Shenzhou 10 spacecraft as it nears the space laboratory during a 15-day spaceflight , China's longest yet, in June 2013.

On the Chinese Space Mission Shenzhou 10


Launched in June of this year, Shenzhou 10 was China’s fifth piloted space flight mission and the tenth flight of the Shenzhou spacecraft. It was the last of the three Shenzhou flight missions intended for testing rendezvous and docking techniques with the country’s Tiangong 1 space lab. The mission lasted 15 days, the longest space trek so far in the history of China’s human space flight program.

Watching and Waiting


Scientists look at the screen shows the Shenzhou X manned spacecraft conducting docking with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space module at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on June 13, 2013 in Beijing, China. China's Shenzhou X manned spacecraft successfully completed an automated docking with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space module on Thursday.

Long Distance Learning


Students gather in a school in Beijing as Chinese female astrounaut Wang Yaping (C on screen) and her two companions give them a live lesson from Tiangong-1 space module on the morning of June 20, 2013. A Chinese astronaut orbiting more than 300 kilometres (186 miles) above the Earth's surface delivered a video class to children across the country on June 20, state television showed in a live broadcast.

Shenzhou 10 Astronauts in Orbit

Xinhua/Wang Yongzhuo

China's three Shenzhou 10 astronauts wave to the camera after entering the Tiangong 1 module. Image released June 13, 2013.

China Space Station Docking Vision

China Manned Space Engineering Office

China is developing its first full-fledged space station, called Tiangong (Heavenly Palace). Early tests of China’s skills at rendezvous and docking, shown in this artist's illustration, began in 2011.

Tiangong-1 in Orbit

The Aerospace Corporation

Artist's illustration of China's Tiangong-1 space lab in orbit. The spacecraft is expected to fall back to Earth between March 30 and April 3, 2018.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: Staff
News and editorial team is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.