Shenzhou – China’s manned spacecraft

Info Shymkent - Chinas crewed Shenzhou spacecraft

The Shenzhou spacecraft is China’s crewed access to space. It is China’s own spacecraft development but has very much similarities with Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft.


  • Name: ShenZhou (神舟) is Chinese for Divine Ship
  • Length: 9.25 m
  • Diameter: max. 2.8 m (living compartment)
  • Weight: 7.84 t (empty)
  • Docking port: One
  • Energy supply: Two 4-segment solar arrays (with a span of 17m)
  • Expected life time: around one month (since Shenzhou 11)
  • Launch vehicle: Long March 2F
  • Max. Persons: 3
  • Volume: 14.00 m3

Mission overview

Mission nameLaunchLandingDurationCrewMission description
Shenzhou 119th November 199920th November 199921 hours 11 minutesNo crew on boardThe Shenzhou 1 was the first test flight of a Shenzhou spacecraft.
Shenzhou 29th January 200116th
January 2001
7 days 10 hours 22 minutesNo crew on boardShenzhou 2 carried multiple scientific payloads including monkey, dog, rabbit and other animals to space and save back to earth.
Shenzhou 325th March 20021st
April 2002
6 days 18 hours 51 minutesNo crew on boardOnboard Shenzhou 3 a human-sized test dummy went to space and back to earth.
Shenzhou 429th December 20025th
January 2003
6 days 18 hours 36 minutesNo crew on boardThe last test flight before a manned spaceflight carried a test dummy and multiple science experiments.
Shenzhou 515th October 200315th October 200321 hours 23 minutes– Yang LiweiThis was China’s first manned spaceflight and China became the third country that send a human into space by their own spacecraft and rocket.
Shenzhou 612th October 200516th October 20054 days 19 hours 33 minutes– Fei Junlong
– Nie Haisheng
Shenzhou 6 was China’s first two-person spaceflight and they stayed multiple days in space.
Shenzhou 725th September 200828th September 20082 days 20 hours 27 minutes– Zhai Zhigang
– Liu Boming
– Jing Haipeng
On Shenzhou 7 China performed for the first time a three-person spaceflight and undertook the first spacewalk.
Shenzhou 831st October 201117th November 201116 days 13 hours 34 minutesNo crew on boardDuring Shenzhou 8 mission occurred the first autonomous docking of a Shenzhou spacecraft with Tiangong-1 space laboratory.
Shenzhou 916th June 201229th June 201212 days 15 hours 24 minutes– Jing Haipeng
– Liu Wang
– Liu Yang
This Shenzhou mission performed the first manned visit of Tiangong-1 space laboratory and a first spaceflight of a Chinese woman.
Shenzhou 1011th June 201326th June 201314 days 14 hours 29 minutes– Nie Haisheng
– Zhang Xiaoguang
– Wang Yaping
The Shenzhou 10 flight was the second manned visit of Tiangong-1 space laboratory and the first Chinese two-week-stay in space.
Shenzhou 1117th October 201618th November 201632 days 06 hours 29 minutes– Jing Haipeng
– Chen Dong
Shenzhou 11 marked China’s first long duration flight and only flight to Tiangong-2 space laboratory.
Shenzhou 1217th June 202117th September 202192 days 04 hours 11 minutes– Nie Haisheng
– Liu Boming
– Yang Hongbo
The Shenzhou 12 was the first manned flight to visit the core module TianHe of China’s space station.
Shenzhou 1315th October 202116th April 2022182 days, 9 hours 32 minutes– Zhai Zhigang
– Wang Yaping
– Ye Guangfu
The Shenzhou 13 was the 2nd flight to the Chinese Space Station. The long-duration flight was another record for China as well for Wang Yaping. She is now Chinese with the longest stay in space with on overall of 197 days.
Shenzhou 145th June 2022expected December 2022around 6 months– Cheng Dong
– Liu Yang
– Cai Xuzhe
The Shenzhou 14 is China’s 3rd flight to the Chinese Space Station Tiangong. The mission was mostly responsible to extend the space station with two new science modules Wentian and Mengtian.
Shenzhou 1529th Novemberexpected May/June 2023around 6 months– Fei Junlong
– Deng Qingming
– Zhang Lu
The Shenzhou 15 is China’s 4th flight to the Chinese Space Station Tiangong. It is the first time in Chinese Spaceflight that one crew is handing over the command of the station to the other at the space station.