Encyclopedia Astronautica
Chinese Space Suit



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Shenzhou suit
Two astronauts photographed at time of Shenzhou 4 launch.
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Shenzhou suit
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Yuhangyuan 2
Colour, uncensored version of photograph of backup astronaut for Shenzhou 5 mission.
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Chinese spacesuit
Chinese spacesuit in test, October 1999
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Chinese Spacesuit, 2
This photograph shows the design is clearly based on the Russian Sokol suit.
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Chinese spacesuit
Chinese astronaut enters pressure chamber to test new-design pressure suit, 1998.
Credit: Richard D. Fisher, Jr
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Chinese Spacesuit
Chinese astronaut in spacesuit being prepared for test in altitude chamber, 1980.
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Chinese Seat
Chinese astronaut in spacesuit and high-G spacecraft seat, ca. 1980.
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Chinese Astronaut
Chinese astronaut in pressure chamber spacesuit test, 1980.
The Shenzhou flight suits were reverse-engineered from the Russia Sokol suit. The suits are designed to protect the astronaut in the event of cabin depressurization, and not for use in extra-vehicular activity.

In April, 1992 the Russian Zvezda institute sold to China a single Sokol space suit for $50,000 cash. This single example was torn down, reverse engineered, and became the suit for the Chinese Shenzhou program. The suits cost $15,000 apiece to produce in China.

There is no regulation of temperature and pressure, and no environmental control system. The helmet is integral to the one-piece suit. In case of depressurization of the spacecraft, external emergency tanks supply oxygen at a rate of 21 liters per minute. Suit pressure is kept at 39kpa for three hours, and then 28kpa for three hours. The suit was worn for the entire one-day mission on Shenzhou 5, the first Chinese manned spaceflight. For Shenzhou 6, the crew removed the suits and donned blue coveralls after entering orbit.

Gross mass: 15 kg (32 lb).

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Associated Countries
See also
  • Space Suits To explore and work in space, human beings must take their environment with them because there is no atmospheric pressure and no oxygen to sustain life. Inside the spacecraft, the atmosphere can be controlled so that special clothing is not needed. But in order to work outside the spacecraft, humans need the protection of a spacesuit. More...

Bibliography
  • Chen Lan, Dragon in Space, Web Address when accessed: here.

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