Chinese Space Program

Chinese Space Programme picture

China's rocketry program began in the 1950s. The first Chinese satellite, Dongfanghong-1 (The East is Red) was launched into orbit in 1970. China became the fifth country to launch a satellite into space. The manned space program was inaugurated in 1992 (Project 921). The first Chinese Astronaut (Taikonaut) was Yang Liwei. He was launched on Shenzhou 5 on October. 15, 2003. China was the third nation capable of putting a human in space on its own, after Soviets and the U.S.   One of the goals of China's manned space program is to build a permanent space station.

Chinese Spacecraft:

Shenzhou: Chinese Spacecraft is launched on a Long March 2F booster from Jiuquan.

There are three major space launch bases in China: Jiuquan, Taiyuan and Xichang.


* Shenzhou 5: China's first man ins space was Yang Liwei. Launch on October 15, 2003

* Shenzhou 6 launched the second manned mission on October 12, 2005 with two Taikonauts: Nie Haisheng and Fei Junlong.

* Shenzhou 7 was the third human spaceflight mission and was launched 25 September 2008. On this mission Chinese Taikonauts conducted the first Chinese Space Walk.

* First Chinese Moon robotic spacecraft was called Chang'e 1 and was launched in 2007.

* Shenzhou 8: Two spacecraft in orbit for the first time ever docked when Shenzhou 8 docked with Tiangong-1 module. Shenzhou 8 was launched on October 31, 2011 on a Long March 2F rocket.

* Shenzhou-9 featured first Chinese woman in orbit

* Shenzhou-10 features second Chinese woman in space

China's future plans for its space program.

Shenzhou-10 spaceships will be launched in 2012. They may conduct rendezvous docking in orbit by 2012.

Space Station

* Tiangong 1, which means 'Heavenly Palace' in Chinese, is a Chinese module for a space station in development. The launch of this laboratory module is planned for 2011/2012. The module will be an 8.5 ton and it is planned that Shenzhou 8, Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 10 will dock with it during its two year lifespan. It is part of Project 921-2.

* On 26 April 2011 Chinese authorities unveiled plans to build a space station and develop a cargo spaceship as part of its manned space program. The Space Station will weigh 60-ton. This is smaller compared to the International Space Station (419 tons: 1998-present) and Russia's Mir Space Station (137 tons: 1986 - 2001)

* Tiangong 2 will be the second space lab and maybe be launched in 2013. It will be larger than Tiangong 1. Tiangong 3  maybe launched in 2015.

* Long March 9 - Moon Rocket

China Space Program Links

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