Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 258

Shenzhou VII

People's Republic of China

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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  25.09.2008
Launch time:  13:10 UTC
Launch site:  Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  330 - 340 km
Inclination:  42,41°
Landing date:  28.09.2008
Landing time:  09:38 UTC
Landing site:  42,278° N, 111,355° E

walkout photo

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alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo

Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Zhai  Zhigang  Commander 1 2d 20h 28m  45 
2  Liu  Boming  Operator 1 2d 20h 28m  45 
3  Jing  Haipeng  Operator 1 2d 20h 28m  45 

Crew seating arrangement

Launch
1  Zhai
2  Liu
3  Jing
Landing
1  Zhai
2  Liu
3  Jing

Double Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Chen  Quan  Commander
2  Fei  Junlong  Operator
3  Nie  Haisheng  Operator

Flight

Launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center; landing in Inner Mongolia; third Chinese manned spaceflight.

Zhai Zhigang performed the the first spacewalk of a Chinese on September 27, 2008 (22m). He was wearing a Chinese Feitian spacesuit. Zhai Zhigang was assisted by Liu Boming who made a stand-up EVA, wearing a Russian Orlan suit. During this spacewalk Zhai Zhigang retrieved an experiment mounted to Shenzhou VII's exterior. The Shenzhou VII EVA made the Chinese space program the third to have conducted an EVA. EVAs had previously been conducted by the space programs of the Soviet Union (later Russia) and the United States.

The Feitian spacesuit is similar to the Orlan-M (known as Haiying) in shape and volume and are designed for spacewalks of up to seven hours, providing oxygen and allowing for the excretion of bodily waste. According to Chinese media reports, spacesuit materials with such features as fire and radiation resistance were developed by several civilian corporations and national institutes. Each suit was reported to have cost 30 million RMB (about 4.4 million USD). Except for the gloves of the Feitian suit, the space suits were not brought back to earth

A miniaturized satellite was released during the mission on September 27, 2008 at 19:24 UTC, after Zhai Zhigang returned to the spacecraft. The satellite was a cube about 40 cm (16 in) long, with a mass of 40 kilograms (88 lb); it carried boost devices and two 150-megapixel stereo cameras. The satellite's tasks included testing the mini-satellite technology, observing and monitoring the spacecraft, and testing the tracking and approaching technology used for space rendezvous and docking.
The miniaturized satellite took photos and videos near the spacecraft, then maneuvered to about 100 to 200 kilometers (62 to 120 mi) away from the spacecraft. After the return module separated from the spacecraft and re-entered the atmosphere, the satellite caught up to the orbiting spacecraft using a liquid ammonia engine, then continue to orbit around the spacecraft. The mini-satellite will work for about three months.

Scientists conducted a solid lubricant exposure experiment during the mission. A piece of equipment the size of a book was installed on the outside wall of the orbital module, and was later retrieved during the space walk, after having been exposed in space for more than 40 hours. The experiment was aimed to study a lubricant which will be used for space-based moving components in future space facilities.

Photos / Drawings


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Last update on November 25, 2014.