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SZ 13



Shenzhou 13 became the first spacecraft to dock to the nadir, or Earth-facing, port on the Tianhe module. The forward and aft ports are occupied by two Tianzhou cargo ships launched earlier this year.

Chinese officials assigned Zhai, Wang Yaping, and Ye Guangfu to the Shenzhou 13 mission in December 2019, although the astronauts were not identified publicly until Thursday, the day before launch. The nearly two years of training brought the crew members closer together, Zhai said. Zhai is a 55-year-old astronaut who holds the rank of major general in the Chinese military. Wang Yaping, 41, is the first woman to live aboard China’s space station. Wang is the most experienced space flier on Shenzhou 13, with more than 14 days of spaceflight time on the Shenzhou 10 mission in 2013. The third member of the Shenzhou 13 crew is Ye Guangfu, also 41. Ye is a pilot in the Chinese military, and will launch on his first trip to space.

A spokesperson for the China Manned Space Agency said the main objectives for the Shenzhou 13 mission include testing of technologies for the future assembly and expansion of the Tiangong space station.

Alternate Names

  • 49326
  • SZ13

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2021-10-15
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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