Resident Crews of the Chinese Space Station Tiangong

Tiangong: Expedition 2

Patch Shenzhou-13 (official version) Crew Shenzhou-13

hi res version (671 KB)

hi res version (866 KB)

Patch Shenzhou-13 (worn on spacesuits)

alternate crew photo

alternate crew photo


hi res version (767 KB)

Tianzhou-3 patch

Crew, launch- and landing data

No. Nation Surname Given names Position Spacecraft
1 China  Zhai  Zhigang  CDR  Shenzhou-13  15.10.2021  16:23:56.469 UTC  (Shenzhou-13)     UTC

2 China  Wang  Yaping  Operator  Shenzhou-13  15.10.2021  16:23:56.469 UTC  (Shenzhou-13)     UTC

3 China  Ye  Guangfu  Operator  Shenzhou-13  15.10.2021  16:23:56.469 UTC  (Shenzhou-13)     UTC


Backup Crew

No. Nation Surname Given names Position
1 China      CDR
2 China      Operator
3 China      Operator

Expedition Report

Only 6.5 hours later Shenzhou-13 docked with the Tianhe core module. They became the second resident crew of the space station.

On September 20, 2021, the unmanned freighter Tianzhou-3 had already arrived at the space station and was docked at 14:08 UTC at the rear end of the core module. Before that, on September 18, 2021 at 02:25 UTC Tianzhou-2 undocked to clear the rear end of the core module for Tianzhou-3. In a four-hour maneuver, it circled the space station and automatically docked again at the forward end of the core module, where the Shenzhou-12 spaceship was docked until September 16, 2021.One of the most important pieces of cargo was a Feitian-type EVA spacesuit, which the crew unpacked and checked. This spacesuit is apparently specially modified for women and has yellow stripes. In addition, the freighter transported 5.6 tons of other equipment to the space station. This included food, skin care products for six months, reserve equipment for the space station and space science payloads, as well as oxygen bottles and water bags.

In addition to practicing first aid cases, an evacuation exercise was carried out at the beginning of November 2021, during which a ruptured wall in the Tianhe core module and the resulting loss of pressure were assumed. The pressure loss alarm was triggered from the control center in the astronaut training center. Zhai Zhigang used a measuring device to determine how much and how quickly the pressure dropped, while Ye Guangfu opened the valve on the emergency air bottle. In a next step, the astronauts tried to determine whether the leak was in the space station itself or in the Shenzhou spacecraft (all hatches in the station are open during normal operation). After it was confirmed that the transport spacecraft was safe, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu closed the hatches to the spacecraft Tianzhou-2 and Tianzhou-3 at the front and rear ends of the Tianhe core module, respectively. A few minutes after the alarm went off, all three spacemen were in the Shenzhou return pod.

On November 07, 2021 Zhai Zhigang and Wang Yaping performed the first EVA in this expedition (6h 25m). It was the first EVA of a Chinese woman. The astronauts installed a grapple fixture for the robotic arm on the nadir side of the corridor section of the core module. In 2022, a second, smaller arm will be brought to the station together with the Wentian science module. The second arm can be connected to the large arm and gives it a greater range of 14.5 m. However, the longer arm needs a special attachment point. While Zhai Zhigang let himself be carried to the worksite by the robotic arm with the attached devices, Wang Yaping made her way forward using the handles on the outer wall. Wang Yaping also tested working in China's upgraded Feitian spacesuit while mounted on the end of the arm.

On December 09, 2021, as in 2013 at Shenzhou-10, Wang Yaping held a lesson from space with the support of Zhai Zhigang and Ye Guangfu to interest Chinese youth in natural sciences. The receiving stations on the ground were located in the Chinese Museum of Science and Technology, Beijing, in Nanning, Wenchuan in Sichuan Province, in Hong Kong and in Macau. After the severe earthquake there in 2008, Wang Yaping had flown aid supplies to Wenchuan. From there, students could ask questions. The state television broadcaster CCTV also broadcast the event live. First, the astronauts present their day-to-day work on board the space station. The focus was on a scientific experiment on cell biology. The astronauts also performed experiments suitable for high school students on the behavior of effervescent tablets in weightlessness, the surface tension of water, etc.

Zhai Zhigang and Ye Guangfu performed the second spacewalk in this expedition on December 26, 2021 (6h 11m). Wang Wang controlled the robotic arm from inside the Tianhe module. The two astronauts continued to outfit the space station with tools needed to support future activities. Tasks were the deployment of the external camera platform "C" outside the core module and various object translation test objectives. The previous crew of Shenzhou-12 had already moved two camera platforms to get a larger field of view. Additional work included installing platforms to anchor the feet. Finally, in preparation for future spacecraft missions, they tested the locomotion along the longitudinal axis of the station without the aid of the grapple arm. Larger objects were transported in which they were passed on from one astronaut to the next.

On January 06, 2022 successfully conducted a transposition test of the Tianzhou-2 cargo craft using its space station's robotic arm. The test took 47 minutes.
It was the first time that the robotic arm operated a large in-orbit spacecraft for a transfer test, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).After being unlocked and separated from the space station core module Tianhe, Tianzhou-2 was moved into a predetermined position by the robotic arm. The arm then reversed the maneuvers to bring the spacecraft back to its original position. Tianzhou-2 re-docked with the core module and completed locking.

EVA data

  Name Start End Duration Mission Airlock Suit
EVA Zhai Zhigang 07.11.2021, 10:51 UTC 07.11.2021, 17:16 UTC 6h 25m Shenzhou-13 Tianhe Feitian-2 a (red)
EVA Wang Yaping 07.11.2021, 10:51 UTC 07.11.2021, 17:16 UTC 6h 25m Shenzhou-13 Tianhe Feitian-2 c (yellow)
EVA Zhai Zhigang 26.12.2021, 10:44 UTC 26.12.2021, 16:55 UTC 6h 11m Shenzhou-13 Tianhe Feitian-2 a (red)
EVA Ye Guangfu 26.12.2021, 10:44 UTC 26.12.2021, 16:55 UTC 6h 11m Shenzhou-13 Tianhe Feitian-2 c (yellow)

Photos / Graphics

Tiangong after docking of Shenzhou-13
EVA on November 07, 2021 Robotic arm
EVA Wang Yaping on November 07, 2021 EVA Wang Yaping on November 07, 2021
EVA Wang Yaping on November 07, 2021 EVA Wang Yaping on November 07, 2021
life onboard Tiangong life onboard Tiangong
life onboard Tiangong Tianhe module
Ye Guangfu onboard Tiangong Wang Yaping onboard Tiangong
Zhai Zhigang onboard Tiangong Tianhe module

Earth observation photos

more onboard photos


Last update on January 08, 2022.