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Shenzhou 5



Shenzhou 5 was the fifth spacecraft in a series of launches which was designed to demonstrate the feasibility of sending a human into space by the People's Republic of China and the first to contain a human presence. The spacecraft was manned by Lt. Col. Yang Liwei, who orbited the Earth for nearly 21.5 hours before landing in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia at 22:23 UTC (6:23 a.m. local time). While in orbit the taikonaut dined on specially prepared versions of Chinese food, talked with his wife and son, and took a three hour nap in addition to performing various planned activities. A total of 14 orbits were made.

The Shenzhou spacecraft is based on the three-seat Russian Soyuz capsule, although extensive modifications have been made.

Although the budget for China's space program was a closely-held secret, the government announced that it had spent $2.18 billion up to the point of this launch.

Alternate Names

  • 28043
  • Divine Vessel 5
  • SZ-5
  • Shenzhou5

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2003-10-15
Launch Vehicle: Long March 2F
Launch Site: Jiuquan, Peoples Republic of China

Funding Agency

  • China National Space Administration (Peoples Republic of China)


  • Human Crew

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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