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astronautix.com Shenzhou

Shenzhou 2
Shenzhou 2

Credit: © Simon Zajc. 41,949 bytes. 530 x 421 pixels.


Other Designations: Project 921-1. Manufacturer's Designation: Project 921-1. Class: Manned. Type: Spacecraft. Nation: China.

Latest on Shenzhou - Chinese Manned Spacecraft:

Additional details of the spacecraft design have become available thanks to examination of a Chinese Astronautical Technology Research Group 1/40 scale model of the spacecraft by Steven S. Pietrobon. Meanwhile Space Daily reported in June that the second unmanned flight of the Shenzhou spacecraft would take place a year after the first, in October 2000. The first manned flight was expected in 2001. The second Shenzhou would save 100 kg in mass using a new wire harness mounting technique. Training of the Chinese astronauts ("Yuhangyuan") was also reported to be proceeding with commissioning of a unique form of zero gravity trainer. The 15 m in diameter and 21 m high chamber was part of a vertical wind tunnel, using speeds of up to 150 km/hour to levitate the Yuhangyuan trainees.


Shenzhou 2 in OrbitShenzhou 2 in Orbit

Credit: Steven S. Pietrobon. 20,705 bytes. 341 x 335 pixels.


The model examined by Mr Pietrobon (see photos and accompanying discussion throughout this article) indicate the following new spacecraft details:

Propulsion system consisting of:
- Four large expansion ratio main engines at the base of the spacecraft
- High thrust pitch and yaw thrusters arranged in four pairs on the inside of the flared based of the service module.
- Low thrust pitch and yaw thrusters arranged in four pairs on the outside of the flared base. These can also, when used together, provide reverse thrust.
- Four pairs of roll / translation thrusters mounted at the spacecraft centre of gravity, just below the re-entry capsule. These are not placed at ninety degrees but two pairs to each side of the spacecraft, allowing use for translation in the vertical axis only.
- Four groups of four thrusters mounted at the base of the orbital module. These may provide a backup to the main orientation system as well as autonomous attitude control and manoeuvring capability to the orbital module when in free flight. Used in conjunction with the canted low thrust pitch and yaw thrusters at the base they could provide translation in both horizontal and vertical planes.


Shenzhou ModelShenzhou Model - View of a 1/40 scale module of Shenzhou at the Chinese Astronautical Technology Research Group. Excluding the triangular sections, the lower solar panels of the service module measure 2.0 m x 7.5 m. Those of the orbital module are 2.0 m x 3.4 m. This indicates that the complete spacecraft can generate three times more power than Soyuz, providing an average of over 1.5 kW of electricity. In autonomous flight the orbital module would generate over 0.5 kW average.

Credit: Steven S. Pietrobon. 39,332 bytes. 546 x 306 pixels.


A complex arrangement of equipment is mounted at the top of the orbital module. This includes a semi-circular ring which seems to provide mounting for rectangular instruments or processing samples around its exterior. Three perpendicular 0.4 m extendible probes are of uncertain purpose. They may be instrument booms; a part of the orientation system; or part of a docking system. Extendible booms were explored by the United States as a docking device for the Apollo spacecraft. It was expected that Shenzhou would have a Russian-style androgynous docking system at the forward end of the orbital module. It may be that the current model instead provides an external instrument pallet for experiments, which could be replaced on eventual station ferry missions with a docking system.


Shenzhou Model FwdShenzhou Model Fwd - Forward view of Shenzhou model. Notice the unique configuration of the instrument pallet at the forward end; the arrangement of the reaction control thrusters at the base of the orbital module, which allow autonomous orientation and possibly manoeuvre of the module in orbit; and the rectangular package mounted opposite the entry hatch. The service module measures 2.2 m diameter x 2.8 m long. The complex equipment arranged at the top of the module is 0.95 m x 1.3 m and 0.8 m long. The semi-circular ring has a 1.1 m inner diameter and seems to provide mounting for rectangular instruments or processing samples around its exterior. The three perpendicular 0.4 m extendible probes are of uncertain purpose. They may be instrument booms; a part of the orientation system; or part of a docking system. Extendible booms were explored by the United States as a docking device for the Apollo spacecraft. It was expected that Shenzhou would have a Russian-style androgynous docking system at the forward end of the orbital module. It may be that the current model instead provides an external instrument pallet for experiments, which could be replaced on eventual station ferry missions with a docking system.

Credit: Steven S. Pietrobon. 39,631 bytes. 430 x 510 pixels.


Orientation instruments, evidently consisting of a horizon, ion flow and/or stellar/sun sensors, located at the middle bottom of the service module, as on the Soyuz spacecraft.

Solar panels with a total area of over 40 square metres, indicating average electrical power available is over 1.5 kW (three times that of Soyuz and greater than that of the original Mir base module).


Shenzhou Model Bot'mShenzhou Model Bot'm - View of the 'bottom' of the Shenzhou model. Noteworthy, from left to right: probable orientation instruments (horizon, ion flow and/or stellar/sun sensors) at the middle of the service module; the robust pylons supporting the moveable solar panels; the thruster groups at the centre of gravity of the spacecraft, below the re-entry capsule, which would be used for rolling the spacecraft and for horizontal / vertical translation manoeuvres; the blue patch on the re-entry module (meaning unclear); the four groups of four thrusters at the base of the orbital module, which would provide auxiliary propulsion for the spacecraft and autonomous propulsion for the orbital module after separation; the white patch on the orbital module, indicating the entry hatch location; the forward porthole in the orbital module. The re-entry capsule is 2.4 m in diameter at the base, and, 2.0 m long (excluding the heat shield). This compares to 2.17 m diameter x 1.90 m for the Soyuz capsule.

Credit: Steven S. Pietrobon. 37,634 bytes. 622 x 512 pixels.


The unmanned first test flight of a prototype of the Chinese Project 921-1 spacecraft took place 49 days after the planned date of October 1, 1999. The spacecraft was personally named ‘Shenzhou’ by Chinese President Jiang Zemin (variously translated as "Vessel of the Gods", "Divine Craft", "Divine Mechanism"; but also a play on a name for China). Film released of the flight verified the existence of the new man-rated CZ-2F launch vehicle, its vertical assembly building, and showed the true configuration of the spacecraft for the first time.


Shenzhou Model AftShenzhou Model Aft - Unique view of the aft end of Shenzhou. The main propulsion system consists of four large expansion ratio main engines. Four groups of two large pitch / yaw thrusters are spaced around the inside of the flared service module skirt, with complementary groups of smaller thrusters mounted on the exterior of the skirt. The radiator loops of the service module wind around the module seven times (the same number as the early Soyuz 7K-OK design). The service module is 2.8 m in diameter at the flared base, 2.5 m in diameter over the radiator section, 2.4 m in diameter at the top, and 3.05 m in length (excluding the engines). This compares to 2.72 m base diameter, 2.15 m centre diameter, and 2.60 m length for the Soyuz.

Credit: Steven S. Pietrobon. 32,321 bytes. 412 x 385 pixels.


Shenzhou was launched at 6:30 am Beijing time on November 20 (November 19 22:30 UT) from the Jiuquan Launch Centre. It separated from its launch vehicle and went into orbit about ten minutes after lift-off. The spacecraft was put into a 196.3 km x 324.4 km orbit at an inclination of 42.6 degrees. This was the first launch from Jiuquan into this inclination and represents a nearly due-East launch. Shenzhou was given the USAF catalogue number 25956U and the International Designation 1999-061A. Two other objects (the last stage of the rocket and another piece of debris) were also tracked in orbit. The spacecraft was controlled from the new Beijing Aerospace Directing and Controlling Centre and film released shows the sophisticated centre in operation during the flight. Analysis of the orbit shows the spacecraft did not manoeuvre during the flight.


Shenzhou Model Left Shenzhou Model Left - View of the left side of Shenzhou. The re-entry capsule has the same aerodynamic surfaces on the upper part of the capsule, and the same cylindrical housing at the bottom as Soyuz. The capsule clearly took advantage of thirty years of Russian experience and refinement of the Soyuz capsule aerodynamic design. The purpose of the tan probe next to the rectangular housing at the top of the orbital module is not known. The arrangement of instruments arranged in an arc in the semicircular pallet mounted on the front of the orbital module is quite mysterious.

Credit: Steven S. Pietrobon. 38,197 bytes. 609 x 286 pixels.


The Yuanwang-3 tracking ship off the coast of Namibia picked up the signal at 18:49 UT, and commanded retro-fire. The spacecraft passed out of range of the tracking ship nine minutes later. Its trajectory arced over Africa, skimmed the coast of the Arabian peninsula, and then over Pakistan, before re-entering over Tibet.

Following re-entry, the drogue chute deployed at an altitude of 30 km with the capsules soft-landing rockets firing 1.5 m above the ground. The capsule landed at 41 deg N, 105 deg E, (415 km East of its launch pad and 110 km north-west of Wuhai, Inner Mongolia), at 3:41 a.m. Beijing time on November 21 (November 20 19:41 UT). The spacecraft had completed 14 orbits of the earth 21 hours and 11 minutes.


Shenzhou Model RightShenzhou Model Right - View of the right side of Shenzhou. The meaning of the second blue patch on the re-entry capsule is unknown. The entry hatch at the top of the orbital module can be seen, and the extendible probes mounted 90 degrees to one another at the forward end of the orbital module.

Credit: Steven S. Pietrobon. 22,300 bytes. 599 x 186 pixels.


The spacecraft is confirmed as strongly resembling the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, and like the Soyuz, consists of a forward orbital module, a re-entry capsule, and an aft service module. The configuration is very much like the original Soyuz A design of 1962.

The orbital module is cylindrical, larger than the previously thought, with a mysterious equipment pallet in place of the expected docking unit at the forward end. It is jettisoned before retro-fire and return to earth. It is equipped with its own solar panels and propulsion and demonstrated autonomous flight after being separated from Shenzhou. For unknown reasons the solar panels were not deployed on the first mission. A large EVA hatch is located in the lower portion of the module, with a large porthole above that, very unlike Soyuz. A rectangular equipment package is mounted on the opposite side of the orbital module. It is expected that at a later phase of the project the module will be left attached to the 921-2 space station module, providing additional space and an airlock on the station.


Shenzhou Model Top VShenzhou Model Top V - View of the top side of Shenzhou. Note the large rectangular external package on the orbital module and the three extendible probes mounted at the forward end of the orbital module.

Credit: Steven S. Pietrobon. 32,377 bytes. 604 x 332 pixels.


The re-entry vehicle is in fact substantially based on the Russian Soyuz. This confirms the Cox Report assertion that the Russians provided the Chinese with a complete Soyuz spacecraft. After the launch press reports quoted "high-ranking Russian space officials" as saying that China purchased a Soyuz re-entry capsule from RKK Energia in the mid-1990's as a private deal. However it was asserted that the capsule supplied contained a minimum of actual hardware.


Shenzhou in orbitShenzhou in orbit - Shenzhou as it would appear in orbit.

Credit: © Simon Zajc. 31,335 bytes. 588 x 343 pixels.


The landing photograph shows a capsule seemingly dimensionally identical to the Soyuz, with some differences in external protuberances. However it later turned out that the capsule is dimensionally 13% larger than Soyuz. Therefore it is not Soviet hardware but a scaled-up copy of the Soyuz aerodynamic form. Like the Soyuz, during landing the Shenzhou capsule deploys a single drogue, followed by a single orange-and-white main chute. The soft landing system (heat shield jettison, followed by ignition of soft landing rockets just before impact) is another Soyuz trademark. Some reports note a different number of braking motor outlets in the base of the capsule. Also unlike the Soyuz, the umbilical to the service module differs in detail and appears to enter the capsule higher up on the main body. The first two Shenzhou vehicles were said to only have space for three crew, as opposed to pre-launch reports of four.


Shenzhou re-entryShenzhou re-entry - Separation of re-entry capsule from service module prior to re-entry. This is the best available picture of the Shenzhou manned spacecraft. From a Chinese animation of the first mission.

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It has been suggested that use of the Soyuz-like re-entry vehicle represents an interim phase of the project. Later a larger, indigenous Chinese re-entry vehicle, capable of handling a crew of four, may be introduced. This would be consistent with the seemingly excessive diameter of the payload shroud, the crew complement reported, and the earliest design concept of the spacecraft.


Shenzhou CapsuleShenzhou Capsule - Photo of Shenzhou capsule at landing site. This reveals it to be the same size and shape as the Russian Soyuz capsule.

Credit: Via Chen Lan. 14,985 bytes. 370 x 230 pixels.


The service module differs in many ways from that of the Soyuz. It is longer, fatter, and the flared base is less pronounced. The external radiator loops are in a single assembly around the centre of the cylinder. The solar panels, unlike those of Soyuz, can be rotated to obtain maximum solar insolation regardless of spacecraft attitude. Large reaction control jets, reminiscent of those on Gemini, are located at the centre of gravity of the capsule, for roll manoeuvres and translation of the spacecraft during docking operations.


Shenzhou CockpitShenzhou Cockpit - View of cockpit of Shenzhou cockpit transmitted to the ground during the flight. The instruments have a Soyuz-like layout but represent more modern looking aircraft instrumentation.

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Prime contractors for the Shenzhou were the China Research Institute of Carrier Rocket Technology, (a part of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation), the Chinese Research Institute of Space Technology and the Shanghai Research Institute of Astronautical Technology. Also involved in design and test of the spacecraft were the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Information Industry.


Shenzhou Orbital ModShenzhou Orbital Mod - Shenzhou orbital module in the shop. Note the fixed solar panels, the large lateral hatch and window, and the forward docking collar. This is much larger than the Russian Soyuz module and it may be intended that they be left behind at the 921-2 space station, forming additional modules.

Credit: Via Simon Zajc. 17,855 bytes. 427 x 282 pixels.


The Communist Party of China Central Committee, the State Council and the Central Military Commission sent a congratulatory telegram after the flight to the departments and personnel involved. Three days after landing the capsule arrived, still sealed, at Beijing Aerospace City. Premier Jiang Zemin was personally present for the opening of the hatch, accompanied by leading figures in the program. The potential military applications of the spacecraft were emphasised in Chinese press releases. Zemin was identified as being present in his role as Chairman of the Central Military Commission. Others present included Vice-President Hu Jintao, Zhang Wannian, Chi Haotian (all as Vice-chairmen of the Central Military Commission), Cao Gangchuan, Head of the People's Liberation Army General Armaments Department, Xu Fuxiang, the President of the China Space Technological Research Institute, and Qi Faren, identified as Chief Designer of the spacecraft.


ShenzhouShenzhou - Frame from Chinese animation of Shenzhou in flight. The orbital module is separating prior to the retrofire maneuver.

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Qi said "The spacecraft voyage is successful and the module returned accurately and safely. However, we shall conduct more studies on concrete technical data such as temperature and humidity recorded by the module. It will provide us with more data to manufacture the manned spacecraft".

The module's payload included a dummy astronaut, national flags, the flag of the Macao Special Administrative region, a banner with all the signatures of the scientists and engineers who participated in construction of the spacecraft, commemorative stamps and some experimental seeds.


ShenzhouShenzhou - 2 View of Shenzhou spacecraft.

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The Development of the Shenzhou

The Chinese perfected ballistic re-entry vehicle techniques very early in their space program with the FSW series of photo-reconnaissance satellites. The FSW was first successfully launched in 1976 (the first attempt, in 1974 was a launch failure; the second, in 1975, crashed to earth when the parachute failed). The spacecraft had an overall mass sufficient for a simple manned capsule (2500 kg), but the re-entry vehicle itself was a bit too small for a human occupant. In 1978 photos were released showing Chinese astronauts in impressive space suits being trained in altitude chambers and at the controls of an elaborate space shuttle-like cockpit. A fleet of ships for recovery of manned capsules at sea was built and in May, 1980, the first capsule was recovered from the South Pacific after a sub-orbital launch. But then, suddenly, in December, 1980, Wang Zhuanshan, the Secretary General of the New China Space Research Society and Chief Engineer of the Space Centre of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, announced that Chinese manned flight was being postponed because of its cost.


ShenzhouShenzhou - Shenzhou, name of first Chinese manned spacecraft, as named by President Zemin.

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In April 1992 the Chinese leadership decided that an independent manned space program could now be afforded. The State Council directed that a manned spacecraft be launched before the new millennium in order to establish China’s place as one of the Great Powers. The Chinese National Manned Space Program was given the designation Project 921. The first phase, 921-1, was to be a manned space capsule with first flight by October 1999.


Shenzhou retrofireShenzhou retrofire - Chinese animation of Shenzhou retrofire. The orbital module has already been jettisoned.

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An early design of the spacecraft was presented to the International Astronautical Federation in 1992. The design was reminiscent of the Russian Soyuz, with a service module, a re-entry capsule, and a forward orbital module. The capsule in the rough drawing was of very unusual pear shape, and the service and orbital modules were of smaller diameter than the capsule. To launch the spacecraft a new rocket using liquid oxygen and kerosene was proposed. This would eliminate the toxic propellants used in the CZ-2E. Clustering of identical first stages would allow heavier payloads, such as the 921-2 orbital laboratory, to be placed into orbit.


Shenzhou recoveryShenzhou recovery - Jettison of drogue chute.

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The original Project 921 proposal was issued by the Shanghai Astronautics Bureau in October 1993 for inclusion in the Eight and Ninth Five Year Economic Plans. Shanghai proposed the development of six large carrier rockets and eight new spacecraft, including a manned one. But their plan was not approved in its entirety. The program for the new liquid oxygen and kerosene rockets was delayed, and resources were put instead into the development of large solid motors for military use. But the Project 921-1 spacecraft was approved for launch on a modification of the CZ-2E, called CZ-2F, and construction was started in the north-east suburbs of Beijing on a new flight control centre capable of handling manned spacecraft.


Shenzhou recoveryShenzhou recovery - Drogue shoot deployment.

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Project 921 was altered yet again in 1994. Cash-hungry Russia was now willing to sell some of its advanced aviation and space technology. In September, 1994 Chinese President Jiang Zemin visited the Russian Flight Control Centre in Kaliningrad, and noted that there were broad prospects for co-operation between the two countries in space. In March, 1995 a deal was signed to transfer manned spacecraft technology to China. Included in the agreement were training of cosmonauts, provision of Soyuz spacecraft capsules and life support systems, androgynous docking systems, and space suits. In 1996 two Chinese astronauts, Wu Jie and Li Qinglong, began training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre in Russia. After training these men returned to China to in turn train a cadre of Chinese astronauts.


Shenzhou recoveryShenzhou recovery - Main chute deployment.

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The 921-1 spacecraft was modified to include a Soyuz capsule and other Russian hardware elements. New launch facilities were built at the Jiuquan launch cite, and in May 1998 a mock-up of the CZ-2F launch vehicle and 921-1 spacecraft were rolled out for facilities tests.

In June 1999, coincident with public announcements that first unmanned test of the spacecraft would be made in October, photographs of the CZ-2F launcher with the Soyuz-style shroud appeared mysteriously on the Internet. They were said to be scanned from a brochure of a an Inner-Mongolian construction company that had worked on the launch facilities. The shroud was consistent in shape and size with that portrayed in the 1992 drawing of the cancelled launch vehicle. It shows many similarities with Russian Soyuz shrouds, but comparison with photos of Soyuz shrouds to the same scale shows it to be much larger.


Shenzhou recoveryShenzhou recovery - Main chute deployment.

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In July, completion of the fourth Yuan Wang tracking ship was announced, ready for deployment with its three sister ships in October. Then in early August rumours spread in the Far Eastern press of a propellant explosion in Jiuquan that involved manned spaceflight hardware. This was denied by Chinese officials a few days later, but suddenly the predicted date for the first unmanned launch of the 921-1 changed from October to ‘sometime in 1999’ and the date for the first manned launch shifted to 2005.


Peking Control CentePeking Control Cente - New Beijing Aerospace Directing and Controlling Center during first flight of Shenzhou. Note positioning of tracking ships in southern hemisphere. Retrofire over East Africa would lead to recovery in Inner Mongolia.

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Meanwhile Russo-Chinese co-operation continued. In August 1999 at Star City, in a large room on the second floor of the Hydrolab, 15-20 Chinese staff continued work. Their activities seemed to be associated with flying experiments on the Russian zero-G aircraft and not EVA training. The Russian Air Force personnel that run the Hydrolab were also responsible for the aircraft

The experiments being flown originated from Mr. Qin Yi of the Oriental Scientific Instruments I&E Group. The project was administered at Star City by Mr. Yuri L. Bogoroditsky, Chief of Foreign Economic Development, Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre.


ShenzhouShenzhou - In-orbit view of Shenzhou spacecraft

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The possibility of an imminent launch was signalled by the departure of the four Yuan Wang tracking ships from their home port. Three of the ships were stationed in the southern hemisphere near latitude 35 S: one off the coast of Namibia, one off the south-west coast of Australia, and one in the mid-Pacific on the International Dateline. The fourth ship was off the southern coast of Japan (probably for tracking at the end of the launch phase). Land-based tracking sites were located at the Jiuquan launch site, West China, South Africa, and Pakistan.

Shenzhou 2Shenzhou 2

Credit: © Simon Zajc. 36,855 bytes. 751 x 573 pixels.


Description of the Shenzhou Spacecraft

A preliminary estimate of the dimensions and mass breakdown of the Shenzhou, in comparison with the Soyuz, would be as follows:

                             Soyuz   Shenzhou
Complete Spacecraft:    
Total Mass-kg                7,250      7,600
Length-m                      7.48       8.65
Diameter-m                    2.72       2.80
Span-m                       10.06      19.40
    
Service Module    
Total Mass- kg               2,950     3,000 
-of which, propellant,kg       900     1,000 
Length-m                      2.60      3.05 
Diameter-m                    2.17      2.50 
Diameter base-m               2.72      2.80 
    
Re-entry Vehicle    
Total Mass-kg                3,000     3,100 
Length-m                      1.90      2.00 
Diameter-m                    2.17      2.50 
    
Orbital Module    
Total Mass-kg                1,300     1,500 
Length-m                      2.98      3.20
Diameter-m                    2.26      2.20


CZ-2F ShroudCZ-2F Shroud - Close-up of CZ-2F shroud during first mission.

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Specification

Craft.Crew Size: 3. Total Length: 8.7 m. Maximum Diameter: 2.8 m. Total Habitable Volume: 8.00 m3. Total Mass: 7,600 kg. Electric system: 1.60 total average kW. Electrical System: Solar panels, 2 x 7. 5x2 m + 2 x 3.4x2 m; 43 sq m.


Shenzhou Chronology



CZ-2FCZ-2F - CZ-2F installed on launch pad.

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01 April 1992 Chinese manned space programme authorised

The Chinese leadership decided that an independent manned space program could be afforded. The Chinese National Manned Space Program was given the designation Project 921. The 921-1 manned capsule entered full scale development in 1993 and the 921-2 space station in 1999. Only preliminary work was authorised on the 921-3 reusable spaceplane.



CZ-2F LiftoffCZ-2F Liftoff - Liftoff of first CZ-2F.

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01 January 1993 Development of Shenzhou manned spacecraft begins

The 921-1 manned capsule entered full scale development in 1993 and the 921-2 space station in 1999.


19 November 1999 Shenzhou Launch Site: Jiuquan . Launch Vehicle: CZ-2F. Perigee: 196 km. Apogee: 324 km. Inclination: 42.6 deg.


Chinese spacesuitChinese spacesuit - Chinese spacesuit in test, October 1999

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The unmanned first test flight of a prototype of the Chinese Project 921-1 spacecraft took place 49 days after the planned date of October 1, 1999. Shenzhou separated from its launch vehicle and went into orbit about ten minutes after lift-off. The spacecraft was controlled from the new Beijing Aerospace Directing and Controlling Centre. The spacecraft did not manoeuvre during the flight.


CZ-2F Rollout BigCZ-2F Rollout Big

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The Yuanwang-3 tracking ship off the coast of Namibia picked up the signal at 18:49 UT, and commanded retro-fire. The spacecraft passed out of range of the tracking ship nine minutes later. Its trajectory arced over Africa, skimmed the coast of the Arabian peninsula, and then over Pakistan, before re-entering over Tibet.

Following re-entry, the drogue chute deployed at an altitude of 30 km with the capsules soft-landing rockets firing 1.5 m above the ground. The capsule landed at 41 deg N, 105 deg E, (415 km East of its launch pad and 110 km north-west of Wuhai, Inner Mongolia), at November 20 19:41 UT. The spacecraft had completed 14 orbits of the earth 21 hours and 11 minutes.



CZ-2F on pad FullCZ-2F on pad Full

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Bibliography:



Detail of 921 ShroudDetail of 921 Shroud

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Shenzhou 2Shenzhou 2

Credit: © Simon Zajc. 49,022 bytes. 497 x 461 pixels.



921 Spacecraft921 Spacecraft - Earlier conjectural drawing of Project 921 first Chinese manned spacecraft, based on description of its layout and overall mass.

Credit: © Mark Wade. 20,000 bytes. 400 x 400 pixels.



Chinese Manned LVsChinese Manned LVs - Chinese Launch Vehicles for Manned Projects. From left: Tsien Spaceplane Launcher, 1978; Project 921 Launch Vehicle, 1992; CZ-2F, 1999; CZ-2E(A), 2000. Only the last two were put into full scale development.

Credit: © Mark Wade. 21,771 bytes. 360 x 480 pixels.



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Last update 12 March 2001.
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