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Shenzhou 1, ..., 7 (SZ 1, ..., 7)


The SZ (Shenzou) is the first crewed spacecraft of the Peoples Republic of China. It owns much of its basic design to the Russian Soyuz capsule, which has a very similar genaral layout. Like the Soyuz, it consists of an orbital module, a return module and an engineering module. Although technology transfers from russia may have had influences in the design of the space craft, the SZ seems to be an mostly independent development.

Unlike the Soyuz, the SZ's orbital module has the capability of a free-flyer, which continues its mission after the deorbiting of the return capsule. In the first 6 missions, the orbital modules contained instruments for Earth observation. The SZ 7 orbital module is modified, featuring no solar arrays, but handrails for EVA, more gas containers and a deployable subsatellite.

The flight of SZ 2 ended possibly in failure, as no images of the return module were published in press, but SZ 1 and 3 returned succefully to earth. The flight of SZ 4 ended successful with the landing on 5. January 2003. Shenzou 5 carried the first chinese astronaut ('Taikonaut') Yang Liwei into orbit on 15. October 2004. Shenzou 6 was the first chinese flight with two Taikonauts. Shenzou 7 featured China's first spacewalk.

List of historic Shenzou flights
List of upcoming Shenzou flights

Nation: China
Type / Application: Crewed spacecraft
Operator: CNSA
Configuration: Service module, Return module, Autonomous orbital Module
Propulsion: 4 × retro motors
Power: 4 deployable solar arrays, batteries
Mass: 7800 kg
Satellite COSPAR Date LS Launch Vehicle Remarks
Shenzhou 1 (SZ 1) 1999-061A 19.11.1999 Jq LC-43/90 CZ-2F
Shenzhou 2 (SZ 2) 2001-001A 09.01.2001 Jq LC-43/90 CZ-2F
Shenzhou 3 (SZ 3) 2002-014A 25.03.2002 Jq LC-43/90 CZ-2F
Shenzhou 4 (SZ 4) 2002-061A 29.12.2002 Jq LC-43/90 CZ-2F
Shenzhou 5 (SZ 5) 2003-045A 15.10.2003 Jq LC-43/90 CZ-2F
Shenzhou 6 (SZ 6) 2005-040A 12.10.2005 Jq LC-43/90 CZ-2F
Shenzhou 7 (SZ 7) 2008-047A 25.09.2008 Jq LC-43/90 CZ-2F with BanXing

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