Encyclopedia Astronautica
Yuhangyuan 2?

Yuhangyuan 2
Yuhangyuan 2
Photo of Chinese astronaut during Shenzhou preparations with face blotted out by censor. An uncensored version of this photo later appeared.
Yuhangyuan 2
Colour, uncensored version of photograph of backup astronaut for Shenzhou 5 mission.
Yuhangyuan 2
Shenzhou suit
Two astronauts photographed at time of Shenzhou 4 launch.
Yuhangyuan 2? Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1996-on.

Chinese astronaut photographed training at the time of the Shenzhou 4 launch in January 2003. His face was blotted out in some photos released. Hong Kong newspapers identified him as the back-up pilot for the first manned flight of Shenzhou, planned for October 2003. Western observors believe he may be Li Qongling, one of two astronauts trained in Russia in 1996. Chinese press reports of January 2003 said that 'Chen Long' would be the first Chinese man in space. Some Western observors considered 'Chen Long' to be a corruption of 'Qongling'.

Status: Active.

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  • PLAAF Chinese agency overseeing development of spacecraft. People's Liberation Army Air Force, China. More...

Yuhangyuan 2? Chronology

  • China Astronaut Training Group 1 selected. - . Nation: China. Related Persons: Chen Quan; Deng Qingming; Fei Junlong; Jing Haipen; Liu Buoming; Liu Wang; Nie Haisheng; Pan Zhanchun; Yang Liwei; Yuhangyuan 1?; Yuhangyuan 2?; Zhai Zhigang; Zhang Xiaoguan; Zhao Chuandong. Selection of astronauts to fly the Project 921 / Shenzhou manned spacecraft began at the end of 1995. Only PLAAF pilots were considered. Review of service records identified 1504 candidates, further reduced to 886 after stricter screening. In the summer of 1996, 60 candidates passed initial testing at their home bases and were sent to Beijing for final tests and interviews. By April 1997 the candidate list had been pared down to 20, and the final 12 were selected at the end of 1997. The group was officially established in January 1998. In March, 1998, the two Chinese astronauts trained in Russia in 1996, who were also the trainers of this first group of 12 cosmonauts, joined the group officially as candidates for future spaceflights, bringing the total to 14.

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