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China has launched the first module of a space station and plans to have astronauts inside it to start woking in about a month.

In Astronomy SE they've already started calling it the "Chinese Space Station" or "CSS"

  • This answer to Details on the telescope(s) on the Chinese Space Station 天和
  • and there's a csst tag for the CSS Telescope

To my surprise and chagrin, publications by Chinese academics do cite this kind of naming (e.g. CSS-OS and CSST)

Question: In the west, are there official names for the final space station and the current module?

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    $\begingroup$ It surprises me that apparently there is a need for an English alternative name for the Chinese space vehicles, yet everyone seemed fine with romanizing the Russian ones… $\endgroup$ – Ludo May 10 at 6:00
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    $\begingroup$ @Ludo :-) I think that Tiangong, the romanization of Tiāngōng which is Hanyu Pinyin for 天宫 is just fine and asking this question doesn't mean I think differently. (see this for example) The goal of on-topic Stack Exchange questions is simply the generation of good answers for future readers. What inspired this question was the Chinese scientists referring to Tiangong as "The Chinese Space Station" or CSS. I just wanted to explore circumstances where each is more appropriate. $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 10 at 6:48
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    $\begingroup$ I agree; it was a general observation, not an accusation. $\endgroup$ – Ludo May 10 at 7:06
  • $\begingroup$ Any thoughts? Is CSS a better tag for the Chinese Space Station Tiangong (“Heavenly Palace”)? $\endgroup$ – uhoh Jul 5 at 2:46
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The Chinese space station is called the Tiangong ("Heavenly Palace") as seen in this article from the Chinese National Space Administration.

The core module that has already launched is called the Tianhe ("Harmony of the Heavens").

enter image description here

The rest of the modules, and details of the space station, can be found here.

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    $\begingroup$ Nice diagram! It looks a lot like an FGB. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble May 9 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ For space-word-deficient folks like myself Zarya, also known as the Functional Cargo Block or FGB is the first module of the International Space Station to have been launched $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 10 at 1:13
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    $\begingroup$ Looks closer to the Zvezda service module really, aka DOS stations (Salyut1-7,Mir and Zvezda). When Sino-Russian relations thawed in 1990s, several deals were done over technology and knowledge transfer to the PRC. PRC also bought tech from Ukraine which was then separated from the former Soviet Union and its space program. Mir was the leading edge project at the time so it makes sense this generation forms the base line that the PRC built from. Note the same Lyappa arm that Mir used to reorient subsequent modules (FGB based on TKS spacecraft). $\endgroup$ – blobbymcblobby May 10 at 1:48
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    $\begingroup$ @OrganicMarble I know, it looks similar, but the FGB was more of an autonomous module (when separated from its VA capsule), the DOS was a fully self-contained space station. Its pretty much a stretched Mir..with improvements of course. imgur.com/vmhlwoF $\endgroup$ – blobbymcblobby May 10 at 2:16
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks again! fyi I've just created the tag tiangong-space-station, how does it look? $\endgroup$ – uhoh May 30 at 0:59

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