Encyclopedia Astronautica
Shenzhou 7



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Shenzhou 7
Credit: © Junior Miranda
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Shenzhou 7
Credit: © Junior Miranda
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Shenzhou 7
Credit: © Junior Miranda
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Shenzhou 7
Credit: © Junior Miranda
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Shenzhou 7
Credit: © Junior Miranda
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Shenzhou 7
Credit: © Junior Miranda
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Shenzhou 7
Credit: © Junior Miranda
Crew: Zhai Zhigang, Liu Buoming, Jing Haipen. First Chinese EVA. First Chinese three-crew spaceflight. Third Chinese manned space mission. The Shenzhou was flown with the full complement of three crew and astronaut Zhai conducted China's first spacewalk. Backup crew: Chen Quan, Fei Junlong, Nie Haisheng.

Third Chinese manned space mission. The Shenzhou was flown with the full complement of three crew and astronaut Zhai conducted China's first spacewalk.

The crew consisted of Zhai Zhigang, backup astronaut for China's first manned space mission; and Liu Buoming and Jing Haipeng, backups for the second mission. The astronauts demonstrated the capability of the Shenzhou spacecraft to carry its full complement of three crew for the first time. Zhai, wearing a Chinese-developed Feitian space suit, emerged from the orbital module of the Shenzhou and became China's first astronaut to conduct a spacewalk. Liu, wearing a proven Russian Orlan spacesuit, remained in the depressurized orbital module, ready to assist Zhai in an emergency. Jing remained in the pressurized re-entry capsule of the Shenzhou, wearing a Chinese derivative of the Russian Sokol spacesuit. The spacewalk was completed precisely in the planned 20-minute duration while Shenzhou 7 passed over Chinese territory.

In April 2004 China purchased from Russia nine Orlan suits, including three flight suits, four training suits for use in a neutral-buoyancy water training pool, and two low-pressure training suits. The Feitian suit had been under development for many years, but seems to have incorporated many design features from the Orlan suit.

The Shenzhou orbital module differed from earlier missions in having its solar panels, 16 thrusters, and all other sub-systems used for independent flight removed. Additions for the EVA role included five gas bottles, two external cameras, handrails, and a space exposure experiment that was retrieved by Zhai.

In addition, a subsatellite, weighing 40 kg, and with diameter of 40 cm, was mounted at the top of the orbital module. Released after the EVA, it relayed back images of Shenzhou 7 from close range, then backed to a distance of several kilometers, testing network technology with the Shenzhou and the orbital module after the deorbit of Shenzhou 7.

The crew returned safely to earth in a pinpoint landing in Outer Mongolia carried live on television.

First Launch: 2008.09.25.
Last Launch: 2008.09.28.
Duration: 2.85 days.

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Fei Junlong Fei Junlong (1966-) Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 6. PLAAF pilot, flight trainer and flight technology inspector. More...
  • Liu Buoming Liu Buoming (1966-) Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 7. In the 05/2003 issue of Fliegerrevue, this was one of 12 new names listed as Chinese astronauts in training. Selected in 2008 as prime crew of Shenzhou 7 More...
  • Jing Haipen Jing Haipen (1966-) Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 7. In the 05/2003 issue of Fliegerrevue, this was one of 12 new names listed as Chinese astronauts in training. Selected in 2008 as prime crew of Shenzhou 7. More...
  • Zhai Zhigang Zhai Zhigang (1966-) Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 7. First taikonaut to walk in space. More...
  • Chen Quan Chen Quan Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1998-on. Chen was a PLAAF regiment commander when selected. Chen was a PLAAF regiment commander when selected. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Shenzhou Chinese manned spacecraft. Operational, first launch 1999.11.19. The Chinese Shenzhou manned spacecraft resembled the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, but was of larger size and all-new construction. More...

See also
Associated Launch Sites
  • Jiuquan China's first launch center, also known as Shuang Cheng Tzu. Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, situated at 100 degrees East, 41 degrees North, is located in the Jiuquan Region, Gansu province, north-western China. It was China's first ballistic missile and satellite launch centre. More...

Shenzhou 7 Chronology


2008 September 25 - . 13:10 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2F. LV Configuration: CZ-2F s/n CZ2F7.
  • Shenzhou 7 - . Crew: Zhai Zhigang; Liu Buoming; Jing Haipen. Mass: 7,840 kg (17,280 lb). Nation: China. Related Persons: Zhai Zhigang; Liu Buoming; Jing Haipen. Agency: SISE. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Shenzhou 7. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 2.85 days. Decay Date: 2008-09-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 33386 . COSPAR: 2008-047A. Apogee: 336 km (208 mi). Perigee: 329 km (204 mi). Inclination: 42.4000 deg. Period: 91.20 min. Third Chinese manned space mission. The crew consisted of Zhai Zhigang, backup astronaut for China's first manned space mission; and Liu Buoming and Jing Haipeng, backups for the second mission. The astronauts demonstrated the capability of the Shenzhou spacecraft to carry its full complement of three crew for the first time. Zhai, wearing a Chinese-developed Feitian space suit, emerged from the orbital module of the Shenzhou and became China's first astronaut to conduct a spacewalk. Liu, wearing a proven Russian Orlan spacesuit, remained in the depressurized orbital module, ready to assist Zhai in an emergency. A subsatellite, weighing 40 kg, was released after the EVA, and relayed back images of Shenzhou 7 from close range to a distance of several kilometers. The crew returned safely to earth in a pinpoint landing in Outer Mongolia, carried live on television. The orbital module remained in space, conducting space network experiments with the subsatellite.
  • BX-1 - . Mass: 40 kg (88 lb). Nation: China. Agency: SISE. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Flight: Shenzhou 7. Spacecraft: Ban Xing. Decay Date: 2009-10-29 . USAF Sat Cat: 33392 . COSPAR: 2008-047G. Apogee: 331 km (205 mi). Perigee: 321 km (199 mi). Inclination: 42.4000 deg. Period: 91.00 min. Summary: BanXing (companion satellite) subsatellite released by Shenzhou 7. If maneuvered away and back to the Shenzhou orbital module after the mission..

2008 September 27 - .
  • EVA Shenzhou 7-1 - . Crew: Zhai Zhigang; Liu Buoming. EVA Type: Extra-Vehicular Activity. EVA Duration: 0.0139 days. Nation: China. Related Persons: Zhai Zhigang; Liu Buoming. Program: ISS. Flight: Shenzhou 7. Zhai, wearing a Chinese-developed Feitian space suit, emerged from the orbital module of the Shenzhou and became China's first astronaut to conduct a spacewalk. Liu, wearing a proven Russian Orlan spacesuit, remained in the depressurized orbital module, ready to assist Zhai in an emergency.

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