Resident Crews of the Chinese Space Station Tiangong

Tiangong: Expedition 1

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alternative crew photo

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Crew, launch- and landing data

No. Nation Surname Given names Position Spacecraft
(launch)
Launch
date
Launch
time
Spacecraft
(landing)
Landing
date
Landing
time
Mission
duration
Orbits
1 China  Nie  Haisheng  Commander  Shenzhou-12  17.06.2021  01:22:31.693 UTC  Shenzhou-12  17.09.2021  05:34:09 UTC 92d 04h 11m 37s  1454 
2 China  Liu  Boming  Operator  Shenzhou-12  17.06.2021  01:22:31.693 UTC  Shenzhou-12  17.09.2021  05:34:09 UTC 92d 04h 11m 37s  1454 
3 China  Tang  Hongbo  Operator  Shenzhou-12  17.06.2021  01:22:31.693 UTC  Shenzhou-12  17.09.2021  05:34:09 UTC 92d 04h 11m 37s  1454 

Backup Crew

No. Nation Surname Given names Position
1 China  Zhai  Zhigang  Commander
2 China  Wang  Yaping  Operator
3 China  Ye  Guangfu  Operator

Expedition Report

Launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center. Only seven hours later Shenzhou-12 docked with the Tianhe core module. The docking took place in automatic mode. However, Shenzhou-12 had to fly in front of the core module and then turn it 180 degrees because the rear docking node Tianzhou-2 had already been occupied since May 29, 2021.

After transfer from the transport spaceship, checking the equipment and facilities in the Tianhe module was one of the first tasks of the resident crew. In addition, the astronauts set up a wireless connection to control the station systems, activated the oxygen generators and installed water tanks. In addition, the sleeping cabins had to be prepared.
From the second day on board Tianhe, the astronauts began unloading around 4.8 tons of supplies from the Tianzhou-2 unmanned transporter. These included the two Feitian-type spacesuits for the intended outboard activities.

The astronauts were given a medical assessment once a week. There was a more extensive medical examination every month. This included that the crew members draw blood from each other and examined it on board, an eye test, an examination of the bone density and an ultrasound examination.

The first spacewalk was performed by Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo on July 04, 2021 (6h 46m). It was the second Chinese spacewalk. Wearing upgraded Chinese Feitian spacesuits, the two astronauts outfitted the space station with tools needed to support future activities. Liu Boming, initially working alone, attached a foot restraint and platform to the end of the station's 33-foot-long (10-meter) robotic arm and then mounted the arm himself. Shenzhou-12 commander Nie Haisheng then tested the arm's controls, moving Liu Boming from inside the Tianhe module. Tang Hongbo, tethered to the handrails running along the exterior of the space station, later joined Liu Boming in extending a panoramic camera (that was folded during the launch). They then continued working together to install other EVA equipment with the help of the robotic arm.

On August 20, 2021, the Chinese astronauts Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming carried out the second spacewalk (5h 55m) during the first expedition to the Tiangong space station. The astronauts exited the depressurized docking node of the Tianhe module, which is being used as an EVA airlock until the Wentian lab module, equipped with its own airlock for crewmembers, arrives in the spring of 2022. The main tasks were to further equip the space station. The objectives of this EVA were to raise another panoramic camera (panoramic camera D) and install some pumps on the exterior of Tianhe. It is thermal control pump as part of the Tiangong cooling system, which works on a similar principle to the one aboard the International Space Station. Since the spacecraft cannot effectively shed heat into the vacuum of space, these systems pump cooling fluid throughout the station. The pump will act as a backup for three others that are already on the station.
Finally, Nie Haisheng and Liu Boming finished installing additional foot restraints onto the station as well as a work platform on the station's robotic arm.

In preparation for the second resident crew to fly to the space station, Shenzhou-12 undocked from the Tianhe module on September 16, 2021 and approached the nadir nozzle from below. The maneuver was necessary because before the arrival of Shenzhou-13, the freighter Tianzhou-3 was to be docked at the free docking port, meaning that both the front and rear docking nodes were occupied.
After Shenzhou-12 landed, the Tianzhou-2 freighter was relocated from the aft docking point to the forward node. This enabled Tianhe to be refueled with fuel.

EVA data

  Name Start End Duration Mission Airlock Suit
EVA Liu Boming 04.07.2021, 00:11 UTC 04.07.2021, 06:57 UTC 6h 46m Shenzhou-12 Tianhe Feitian-2 a (red)
EVA Tang Hongbo 04.07.2021, 00:11 UTC 04.07.2021, 06:57 UTC 6h 46m Shenzhou-12 Tianhe Feitian-2 b (blue)
 
EVA Nie Haisheng 20.08.2021, 00:38 UTC 20.08.2021, 06:33 UTC 5h 55m Shenzhou-12 Tianhe Feitian-2 a (red)
EVA Liu Boming 20.08.2021, 00:38 UTC 20.08.2021, 06:33 UTC 5h 55m Shenzhou-12 Tianhe Feitian-2 b (blue)
 

Photos / Graphics

crew in training crew in training
crew in training crew in training
Shenzhou-12 rollout Shenzhou-12 rollout
Shenzhou-12 launch Shenzhou-12 launch
Shenzhou-12 launch
Shenzhou-12 launch Tianhe
life onboard Tiangong life onboard Tiangong
life onboard Tiangong Sleeping cabins on Tiangong
EVA on July 04, 2021 EVA on July 04, 2021
EVA on July 04, 2021 EVA on August 20, 2021
EVA on August 20, 2021 EVA on August 20, 2021
EVA on August 20, 2021 life onboard Tiangong
Parts of Tiangong Parts of Tiangong
Parts of Tiangong Sleeping cabin on Tiangong
Earth observation Earth observation
Earth observation Earth observation
life onboard Tiangong life onboard Tiangong
life onboard Tiangong life onboard Tiangong
Earth observation Earth observation
life onboard Tiangong Shenzhou-12 recovery
Shenzhou-12 recovery  

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Last update on December 27, 2023.

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