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Tiangong

thumb|Diagram of Tiangong-1 Tiangong () is a space station program of the People's Republic of China, with the goal of creating a third generation space station, comparable to Mir. This program is autonomous and unconnected to any other international space-active countries. The program began in 1992 as Project 921-2. , China is moving forward on a large multiphase construction program that will lead to a large space station around 2020. China launched its first space laboratory, Tiangong 1, on September 29, 2011. Following Tiangong 1, a more advanced space laboratory complete with cargo ship, dubbed Tiangong 2, will be built. Tiangong 3 will continue to develop these technologies. The project will culminate with a large orbital station, which will consist of a 20-ton core module, 2 smaller research modules, and cargo transport craft. It will support three astronauts for long-term habitation and is scheduled to be completed just as the International Space Station is currently scheduled to be retired.