AKA: Zhongguo hangtian keji jituangongsi. Location: Beijing, Zhongguo.
The only FSW-1 mission conducted during 1993-1994 was launched into an orbit of 209 km by 300 km at an inclination of 57.0 deg. In addition to an Earth observation Payload, FSW-1 5 carried microgravity research equipment and a diamond-studded medallion commemorating the 100th anniversary of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung's birth. The spacecraft operated normally until 16 October when an attempt to recover the satellite failed. An attitude control system failure aligned the spacecraft 90 deg from its desired position, causing the re-entry capsule to be pushed into a higher elliptical orbit (179 km by 3031 km) instead of returning to Earth. Natural decay did not bring the capsule back until March 12, 1996.
The second Fanhui Shi Weixing FSW-2 was launched on 3 July 1994 into an orbit of 173 km by 343 km at an inclination of 63.0 deg. The spacecraft remained in orbit for 15 days, making four small manoeuvres before successfully returning to Earth. The payload included Earth observation systems, a biological experiment, and microgravity research instruments. The retrievable capsule was recovered in China on July 18
Geosynchronous weather satellite; also known as FY-2B. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 105 deg E in 1997-2000; 85 deg E in 2000.. The FY-2A stopped transmission in April 1998 but was put back into partial operation in December 1998. Its imager then failed completely on 30 September 1998 and it was retired in April 2000. As of 4 September 2001 located at 83.55 deg E drifting at 0.074 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 58.96E drifting at 0.025W degrees per day.
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. The first attempt to return the spacecraft to earth came on orbitt 12, but the retrofire command would not be accepted by the spacecraft's computer. A retry on the next orbit also failed.
The Yuanwang-3 tracking ship off the coast of Namibia picked up the spacecraft's signal at 18:49 UT, and commanded retro-fire. This time the spacecraft accepted the command, which probably saved the entire program. 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 in 21 hours and 11 minutes.
After the flight it was reported that not a single primary spacecraft system had failed, so none of the back-up systems were tested. The touchdown point was only 12 km from the predicted position. The soft landing braking rocket worked well - no damage was found to the capsule structure, heat shield or the seals. The jettisoned heat shield, parachute hatch, and drogue chute were found within 5 km of the landing point. The orbital module, which separated prior to retro-fire, continued in controlled flight until 27 November, when it decayed and reentered the atmosphere. A primary payload returned by Shenzhou were 100 kg of seeds, considered valuable to the Chinese after one day of exposure to the space environment. The Chinese space tracking fleet returned from the Shenzhou mission between 12 December 1999 and 4 January 2000. During their 259-day voyage, the four ships traveled 185,000 km and experienced some heavy seas while tracking and communicating with the Shenzhou for a total of 150 minutes. Additional Details: here....
Second Fengyun-2 weather satellite, replacing the first FY-2 (retired in April after a three year service life). The spin-stabilised FY-2 fired its solid apogee motor early on Jun 26. By July 3, it was in a 35,791 x 35,804 km x 1.1 deg orbit drifting over the Pacific. Stationed at 104 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 110 deg E in 2000. As of 5 September 2001 located at 104.56 deg E drifting at 0.030 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 34.70W drifting at 0.629W degrees per day.
The second unmanned test flight of the Shenzhou manned spacecraft design carried a monkey, a dog and a rabbit in a test of the spaceship's life support systems. Shenzhou 2 was the first test of an all-up flight model of the spacecraft, with a functioning orbital module. It was also the most ambitious space science laboratory ever launched by China. It carried 64 scientific payloads: 15 in the re-entry module, 12 in the orbital module and 37 on the forward external pallet. These included a micro-gravity crystal growing device; life sciences experiments with 19 species of animals and plants, cosmic ray and particle detectors; and China's first gamma ray burst detectors.
The launch was originally scheduled for January 5, but the second stage of the launch vehicle was dented by an access platform while being prepared for roll-out in the vehicle assembly building. This caused several days of delay until it was cleared for flight. Shenzhou 2 made three orbit-raising manoeuvres during its flight, reaching a 330 x 345 km orbit by the end of the initial phase of the mission. Ninety minutes before landing the orbital module depressurised, and the spacecraft went briefly out of control. However this was regained after venting of the atmosphere from the module ended. The descent module and service modules separated from the forward orbital module and external pallet normally. After retrofire by the service module, it separated and the descent module landed at 11:22 GMT on January 16 in Inner Mongolia. Lack of post-recovery photographs led to speculation that the recovery may not have been completely successful. The Shenzhou orbital module had its own solar panels and remained operational in orbit, conducting scientific experiments. It was actively controlled for six months, maneuvering in orbit several times (reaching a final orbit of 394 x 405 km). It then was allowed to decay and reentered the atmosphere at 09:05 GMT on August 24, 2001. The reentry point was near 33.1 deg S in latitude and 260.4 deg E in longitude, over the western Pacific Ocean between Easter Island and Chile.
The HY-1 (Haiyang-1) marine observation satellite separated shortly after the FY-1D. The 360 kg HY-1 was based on the SJ-5 bus and carried an IR radiometer and CCD imager for oceanographic studies. Between May 21 and May 26, HY-1 lowered its orbit to 793 x 799 km using on-board propulsion.
The second stage separated six minutes after launch, putting the stack on a suborbital trajectory. After a brief coast up to 860 km the third stage fired at around 0200 UTC to circularize the orbit. FY-1D, a 950 kg weather satellite with a 10-channel radiometer, separated from the stack followed by a small adapter. The final stage was left in a slightly lower 812 x 883 km orbit.