Capability: Chinese crewed spaceflight program.
Maiden Flight: 1999-11-19
Flight Life: 200 day design life.
Crew Capacity: 3
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 on board the spacecraft were operational. Shenzhou 1 was designed primarily to test the Long March 2F rocket. The only systems and capabilities tested on the spacecraft were the separation of the modules, attitude control, lifting body reentry, the heat shield, and ground recovery.
Shenzhou is a spacecraft used to support the Chinese manned spaceflight program. Its design resembles the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, but it is larger in size and all-new in construction. The first launch was on November 19, 1999 and the first manned launch was on October 15, 2003.
The Shenzhou spacecraft resembles the Soyuz, although it is longer, with a larger habitable volume. It features a powered service module like the Soyuz, and prior to Shenzhou 8 its orbital module was capable of autonomous flight.
The aft service module contains life support and other equipment required for the functioning of Shenzhou.
China National Space Administration
The China National Space Administration (CNSA) is the national space agency of the People’s Republic of China. It is responsible for the national space program and for planning and development of space activities. CNSA and China Aerospace Corporation (CASC) assumed the authority over space development efforts previously held by the Ministry of Aerospace Industry. The CNSA has many launch sites around China with their orbital sites located in Jiuquan, Xichang, Taiyuan and Wenchang.