A mockup of Tiangong I (with a door cut in the side) at an exhibition hall at the China Academy of Space Technology.
Although there has been no official announcement, there are good signs here in Beijing that China plans to launch its experimental space laboratory before the end of August.
The lab, called Tiangong I, is an 8-ton spacecraft with two modules: an experiment module and a resource module. The resource module contains fuel, air, water and other resources and equipment needed to support the space lab and the astronauts who will visit it. The experiment module is where the astronauts will live and work. It will be launched from the Chinese space port in Jiuquan aboard a modified Long March 2F (CZ-2F), the same rocket used to carry Chinese astronauts into space.