Shenzhou 1

Shenzhou 1

"Shenzhou 1" (Chinese: 神舟一号) launched on November 19, 1999, was the first unmanned launch of the Shenzhou spacecraft. The spacecraft used was not equipped with a life support system or an emergency escape system. After orbiting the Earth 14 times, the command for retrofire was sent by the "Yuanwang 3" tracking ship off the coast of Namibia at 18:49 UTC. After a successful reentry it landed about 415 km east of its launch pad and 110 km north-west of Wuhai, Inner Mongolia.

The first Shenzhou spacecraft was different from those later used. Instead of featuring unfolding solar panels, "Shenzhou 1" was equipped with fixed solar cells. During this first flight there were also no orbit changes. According to Qi Faren the chief designer of the spacecraft, only 8 of the 13 sub-systems onboard the spacecraft were operational. "Shenzhou 1" was designed primarily to test the Long March 2F rocket. The only areas tested on the spacecraft were the separation of the modules, attitude control, lifting body reentry, the heat shield, and ground recovery.

It carried 100 kg of seeds to investigate the effects on them of the space environment. It is also thought that the front of the Orbital Module was equipped with a dummy ELINT package, with "Shenzhou 2" onwards equipped with fully functional models.

It was announced in June 1999 that the flight would take place in October of that year. At about the same time images were released on a Chinese military internet forum of the Long March 2F launcher and the Vehicle Assembly Building that would be used. After a reported propellant explosion at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center (though the explosion was denied by Chinese officials) the launch was pushed back.

Mission parameters

*Mass: 7,600 kg
*Perigee: 195 km
*Apogee: 315 km
*Inclination: 42.6°
*Period: 89.6 minutes
*NSSDC ID: 1999-061A

ee also

*Shenzhou spacecraft
*Long March rocket

References

*cite web | url=http://www.astronautix.com/craft/shenzhou.htm|title=Shenzhou|accessdaymonth=21 July |accessyear=2005
*cite web | url=http://www.sinodefence.com/space/manned/shenzhou1.asp|title=Shenzhou Unmanned Spaceflight Mission|accessdaymonth=24 July |accessyear=2005|work=Chinese Defence Today
*cite news|url=http://www.space.com/news/chinalaunch_991120.html|title=China Launches Its First Unpiloted Spacecraft and Joins Exclusive Club|publisher=Space.com|date=21 November 1999
*cite news|url=http://www.spacedaily.com/news/china-03zd.html|title=Shenzhou — Divine Military Vessel|publisher=SpaceDaily|date=October 2, 2003
*cite news|url=http://www.china.org.cn/english/msf/77476.htm|title=Details About Courses Running up to 1st Manned Spaceflight|publisher=Xinhua News Agency|date=October 16, 2003


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