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Shenzhou 8

Shenzhou 8

Capability: Chinese manned spaceflight program.
Maiden Flight: 1999-11-19
Flight Life: 200 day design life.
Crew Capacity: 3

The Shenzhou 8 spacecraft was automatically docked with the Tiangong-1 space module (launched on 29 September 2011) on November 3 and again on November 14, 2011. This unmanned docking—China’s first—was followed in 2012 with the manned Shenzhou 9 mission, which performed a manned docking (also China’s first) with the Tiangong-1 module.

History

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.

Agency

China National Space Administration
Type: Government

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.

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