29 April 2021
The CZ-5B Y2 rocket, carrying the Tianhe module, launched at 11:23 BJT from the Wenchang Space Launch Centre on the coast of the southern island province of Hainan. Tianhe has a total length of 16.6 m, a maximum diameter of 4.2 m and a takeoff mass of 22.5 t, and is the largest spacecraft developed by China. China will also send the Tianzhou 2 cargo spacecraft and Shenzhou 12 crewed spaceship this year to dock with the core module. 2 taikonauts will be aboard Shenzhou 12 and stay in orbit for 3 months, said Hao Chun, Director of the CMSA. 2 more crews and cargo supply missions will follow next year.
China successfully launches core module for its own space station, kicking off intense construction phase
Core module of China's space station enters planned orbit