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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.