Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, October 16, 2003
Facts and figures: China's first manned spaceship
China announced the success of its first manned space flight and the safe return of astronaut Yang Liwei after Shenzhou V landed at the preset primary landing area at 06:23 (BJT) on Thursday. Following are some of the major facts and figures about Shenzhou-5 spacecraft:
China announced the success of its first manned space flight and the safe return of astronaut Yang Liwei after Shenzhou V landed at the preset primary landing area at 06:23 (BJT) on Thursday.
Following are some of the major facts and figures about Shenzhou-5 spacecraft:
1. The spacecraft was 8.86 meters in total length, and weighed 7,790 kilograms;
2. Its re-entry module, with a diameter of 2.5 meters, has a volume of six cubic meters;
3. Shenzhou-5 was equipped with 52 engines designed to ensure precise readjustment of its attitude and flight maneuvers;
4. Fifty-five latest technologies were used for the first time to build the Long March CZ-2F carrier rocket that sent Shenzhou-5 into space;
5. The rocket had a liftoff mass of 479.8 tons, and the rocket and the craft atop it measure 58.3 meters in height;
6. Shenzhou-5 flied a circular orbit 343 kilometers over the Earth after the orbit shift;
7. It took about 90 minutes for Shenzhou-5 to make a single circle round the Earth, and it stood the test of a temperature gapas great as 180 degrees centigrade in orbit;
8. Nine land-based stations in China and abroad kept tracking the spacecraft during its flight, and four large tracking ships were deployed on the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Indian oceans for the same purpose;
9. Lt. Col. Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut in space, unfurled a national flag of China's and a United Nations flag, both made of Nylon and of the same size: 15 cm long, 10 cm wide and 10 grams in weight. Shenzhou-5 also carried a larger UN flag, 180 cm plus 120 cm and weighing 330 grams, which was not unfurled;
10. Shenzhou-5 flew round the Earth 14 times, in a space journey of 600,000 kilometers;
11. Five helicopters and 14 special vehicles had stood by for search and rescue before the spaceship landed;
12. The landing of Shenzhou-5 is just 4.8 kilometers off the target.
Shenzhou-5, is the largest of its kind in the world
The spaceship, consisting of a propulsion module, a re-entry module, an orbiter and an additional module, is large enough for three astronauts, Yuan Jiajun, a leading senior engineer in charge of the spaceship system under China's space program, said on Thursday.
The re-entry module of the spacecraft measures 2.5 meters in diameter, larger than the first spaceships launched by the former Soviet Union and the United States, which were designed to accommodate only one cosmonaut. Shenzhou-5, weighing 7,790 kilograms, is also heavier.
Shenzhou-5 will not abandon its orbit module, Yuan said. Instead, it will remain on the orbit for scientific experiments over a period of several months after the re-entry module return to earth.
"Multi-adaptability of the orbiter has made our future space projects possible," said Yuan, adding that Chinese experts are focusing on the docking technology for moving objects in space.