CHINA TIANGONG SPACE STATION COINS
China has issued coins commemorating its Tiangong space station.
China's first space station is now complete in Earth orbit — and on a new set of coins.
The People's Bank of China on Monday (Jan. 9) issued gold and silver coins(opens in new tab) in celebration of the completion of the nation's Tiangong space station. The orbital complex, which was first proposed in 1992, was finished last year with the addition of two science laboratories to an earlier launched core module.
The 0.1-oz (3 grams) gold commemorative coin(opens in new tab) features the T-shaped Tiangong ("Heavenly Palace") on its reverse. The space station is shown with both Shenzhou crew spacecraft and Tianzhou cargo vehicles docked at either end of the Tianhe ("Harmony of the Heavens")(opens in new tab) core module.
The engraved rendering also captures the large solar arrays extending from the Wentian and Mengtian laboratory cabin modules and a Chinese taikonaut wearing a Feitian spacesuit at the end of the space station's robotic arm.
The reverse design is completed with the logo of the Chinese Manned Spaceflight Project (CMS), the words "China Space Station" (in Chinese) and denomination, 50 yuan (about $7.40 U.S.). The 0.7-inch (18 millimeters) 24-karat gold coin is limited to 20,000 pieces.
The 1-oz (30 grams) silver coin depicts two taikonauts working outside of the space station. One of the spacewalkers is mounted to the end of the robotic arm, while the other is half out of an airlock. Unlike the gold coin, the silver commemorative is partially colored, with the backdrop of space being rendered in luminescent purple, pink, blue and green colors.
To the left of the extravehicular scene are small representations of the "three-step" development strategy, or phases, that China's space program went through to bring its human spaceflight program to where it is now. The three steps shown are the launch of crewed spacecraft, the deployment of single-module laboratories and, finally, the multi-module space station as it exists today.
Like the gold coin, the silver's reverse also displays the CMS logo, "China Space Station" (in Chinese) and denomination, 10 yuan (about $1.50 U.S.). The 1.5-inch (40 mm) commemorative is limited to a maximum circulation of 50,000 pieces.
Both the gold and silver coins share a common obverse or front design featuring the emblem of the People's Republic of China, as well as the country (China) and year of issue. (Although the coins are being released in 2023, they are dated for 2022, the year the space station was declared complete.)
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China issues gold and silver coins to mark completion of Tiangong space station
Wayne Homren, Editor
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