Encyclopedia Astronautica
CALT


Chinese manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, Beijing, China.

AKA: 1st Academy; CASC.
Location: Beijing.

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Tian Jiao 1 Chinese manned spaceplane. Study 1988. The Tian Jiao 1 (Pre-eminent in Space 1) manned spaceplane was proposed by the First Academy (now the China Academy of Launch Technology) in 1988. More...
  • Tian Jiao 2 Chinese manned spaceplane. Study 2006. What appeared to be an evolved version of 1988's Tian Jiao 1 manned spaceplane concept was proposed by the China Academy of Launch Technology in 2006. A 2020 operational date was mentioned. More...

Associated Engines
  • DF-1 CALT Liquid oxygen/Alcohol rocket engine. 270 kN. More...
  • YF-1 CALT Nitric acid/kerosene rocket engine. 300 kN. More...

See also
Associated Launch Vehicles
  • DF-3 Tsien Development of the original DF-3 10,000 km missile was undertaken personally by Tsien Hue Shen, the father of Chinese rocketry, but faced insurmountable technical and management difficulties. It was cancelled and replaced by the DF-4. More...
  • DF-2 First Chinese IRBM, a single stage missile with the objective of carrying a 1500 kg warhead to Japan. The starting point for the design were R-12 construction drawings and a single exemplar of the missile provided by the Soviet Union prior to the break with Moscow in 1960. Following protracted development the design was accepted by the Chinese military for service in 1970. More...
  • DF-2A Chinese intermediate range ballistic missile. Extended-range version of DF-2. The missile featured reduced thrust, but 20% more range, and used autonomous gyroscopic guidance in place of the DF-2's radio system. More...
  • DF-3 Chinese intermediate range ballistic missile. The DF-3 project began in 1964 with the objective of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the Philippines (earlier referred to as the DF-1). More...
  • CZ-1 Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China began development of the CZ-1 (Changzheng-1 = Long March-1) launch vehicle in the second half of 1965. The project was undertaken with the specific objective of launching China's first satellite, the DFH-1. The CZ-l's first and second stages were adapted from those of the DF-3 intermediate range ballistic missile. The third stage used a new-design solid rocket motor. More...
  • DF-4 Chinese intermediate range ballistic missile. Development of the DF-4 began in 1964 with the objective of fielding a ballistic missile capable of hitting Guam. The technical solution was to add a second stage to the DF-3 IRBM. More...
  • CZ Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China's first ICBM, the DF-5, first flew in 1971. It was a two-stage storable-propellant rocket in the same class as the American Titan, the Russian R-36, or the European Ariane. The DF-5 spawned a long series of Long March ("Chang Zheng") CZ-2, CZ-3, and CZ-4 launch vehicles. These used cryogenic engines for upper stages and liquid-propellant strap-on motors to create a family of 12 Long-March rocket configurations capable of placing up to 9,200 kg into orbit. In 2000 China began development of a new generation of expendable launch vehicles using non-toxic, high-performance propellants with supposedly lower operating costs. However these encountered development delays, and it seemed the reliable Long March series of rockets would continue in operational use for nearly fifty years before being replaced. More...
  • DF-5 Development of the the DF-5 began in 1964. The goal was an ICBM capable of reaching the United States. Although deployed in very limited numbers as an ICBM, this rocket became the basis for an entire family of space launch vehicles and the foundation of the Chinese space program. More...
  • FB-1 Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The FB-1, like the CZ-2 launch vehicle begun the following year, was a two-stage booster developed from the DF-5 intercontinental ballistic missile. Payload for the booster was the JSSW, believed to have been a television-transmission military reconnaissance satellite. The incredible decision to develop two nearly identical rockets concurrently can be blamed on the turbulent factional politics after the Cultural Revolution. More...
  • CZ-2A Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-2 was originally designed for launch of the FSW-1 recoverable military reconnaissance satellite. More...
  • CZ-2C Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-2C was the definitive low earth orbit launch vehicle derived from DF-5 ICBM. It became the basis for an entire family of subsequent Long March vehicles. Many adaptive modifications were made to the configuration of the CZ-2A to handle a variety of new satellites and upper stages. The CZ-2C had improved technical performance and payload capacity compared to the CZ-2A, with later versions having a payload capability of 2,800 kg into a 200 km circular orbit. More...
  • CZ-2 Spaceplane Launcher Chinese orbital launch vehicle. Tsien's manned spacecraft design proposed in the late 1970's was a winged spaceplane, launched by a CZ-2 core booster with two large strap-on boosters. It so strongly resembled the cancelled US Dynasoar of 15 years earlier that US intelligence analysts wondered if it wasn't based on declassified Dynasoar technical information. More...
  • CZ-1M Chinese orbital launch vehicle. Proposed launch vehicle derived from CZ-1, with an Italian Mage upper stage. Never flown. More...
  • DF-5A Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile. Modernised DF-5 incorporating guidance and propulsion improvements developed for the CZ-series of launch vehicles. More...
  • CZ-3 Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The Long March 3 was a three-stage launch vehicle designed for delivery of satellites of 1,500 kg mass into geosynchronous transfer orbit. The first and second stages were based on the CZ-2C, and designed and manufactured by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. The majority of the technology and flight hardware used in the CZ-3 had been qualified and proven on the CZ-2C. The third stage, manufactured by CALT, was equipped with an LOX/LH2 cryogenic engine. Long March 3 was also capable of placing spacecraft into an elliptical or circular low earth orbit and sun synchronous orbit. More...
  • DF-3A Chinese intermediate range ballistic missile. More...
  • CZ-4A Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-4 was developed and manufactured by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology. Its first stage was essentially the same as that of the CZ-3 and the second stage was identical to that of the CZ-3. The CZ-4's third stage, however, was a development, featuring a thin wall common intertank bulkhead tankage and two-engine cluster with both engines gimbling about two perpendicular axes. The third stage engine cluster connected to the tank aft bulkhead through the engine bay. The CZ-4 had two payload fairing configurations: Type-A and Type-B. The CZ-4 was designed for launching satellites into polar and sun-synchronous orbits. More...
  • CZ-1C Chinese orbital launch vehicle. Proposed launch vehicle derived from the CZ-1, with a new upper stage. Never flown. More...
  • CZ-2E Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-2E added four liquid rocket booster strap-ons to the basic CZ-2 core to achieve a low earth orbit payload capability approaching the Russian Proton, US Titan, or European Ariane rockets. The Long March 2E had a maximum payload capability of 9,500 kg to low earth orbit. More...
  • CZ-2D Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The Long March 2D was a two-stage launch vehicle with storable propellants, suitable for launching a variety of low earth orbit satellites. Developed and manufactured by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology, the CZ-2D had a typical payload capability of 3,500kg in a 200 km circular orbit. Its first stage was identical to that of the CZ-4. The second stage was essentially the same as that of the CZ-4, except for an improved vehicle equipment bay. More...
  • CZ-3A Chinese three-stage orbital launch vehicle. The Long March 3A, by incorporating the mature technologies of the CZ-3 and adding a more powerful cryogenic third stage and more capable control system, had a greater geosynchronous transfer orbit capability, greater flexibility for attitude control, and better adaptability to a variety of launch missions. More...
  • CZ-1D Chinese orbital launch vehicle. Proposed launch vehicle derived from the CZ-1, but with a new N2O4/UDMH second stage. Used for a suborbital re-entry vehicle test but never flown on an orbital mission. More...
  • CZ-3B Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The Long March 3B was the most powerful Long March launch vehicle. It could inject a 5,000 kg payload into geosynchronous transfer orbit. The CZ-3B was developed on the basis of the CZ-3A, but had enlarged propellant tanks, larger fairing, and four boosters strapped onto the core stage. The CZ-3B boosters were identical to those of the CZ-3A. More...
  • CZ-2C/SD On April 28, 1993, the Chinese Great Wall Industrial Corporation and Motorola signed a launch services contract for multiple launch of Iridium communications satellites using CZ-2C/SD launch vehicles. The main differences between the CZ-2C and the CZ-2C/SD were: a modified fairing with a diameter of 3.35m; a newly developed Smart Dispenser; improved second stage fuel and oxidizer tanks; and second stage engines with higher expansion ratio nozzles. More...
  • CZ-4B Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-4B introduced in 1999 was an improved model of the CZ-4B with an enhanced third stage and fairing. It measured 44.1 metres in length with a first stage thrust of 300 tonnes. More...
  • CZ-2F Chinese orbital launch vehicle. Man-rated version of CZ-2E, designed for launch of the Shenzhou spacecraft. Little difference externally. Modifications were related to improved redundancy of systems, strengthened upper stage to handle large 921-1 spacecraft fairing and launch escape tower. President Jiang Zemin gave the name 'Shenjian' ('Divine Arrow') to the CZ-2F after the successful launch of the Shenzhou-3 mission. More...
  • CZ-3B(A) Chinese orbital launch vehicle. In February 1999 the China Great Wall Company announced it was developing more powerful Long March rockets using larger-size liquid propellant strap-on motors. The Long March 3B(A) would be available in 2002. More...
  • CZ-NGLV-320 Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The Long March New Generation Launch Vehicle series medium launcher would use the 3.35 m diameter module and a new 3.35 m diameter second stage as the core vehicle. Either two or four 2.25 m diameter modules would be used as strap-ons. Payload to low earth orbit would be three tonnes with two strap-ons and 10 tonnes with four strap-ons. More...
  • CZ-2E(A) Planned upgrade of CZ-2E with enlarged liquid boosters. Probably intended for launch of Chinese space station modules in the 21st century. Fairing was 5.20 m in diameter and 12.39 m long. More...
  • CZ-NGLV-540 Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The 540 configuration for the Long March New Generation Launch Vehicle series would use the 5.0 m diameter core stage with four 2.25 m diameter stages as strap-ons. Payload was given as 10 tonnes to low earth orbit. A standard short 5.2 m diameter fairing tops the vehicle. More...
  • CZ-NGLV Chinese orbital launch vehicle. China's family of new generation expendable launch vehicles began development in 2000. Boosters of various capabilities would be assembled from three modular stages of 2.25 m, 3.35 m and 5.0 m diameter. These would be powered by new variable-thrust 120 tonne thrust Lox/Kerosene engines or 50 tonne thrust Lox/LH2 engines. More...
  • CZ-NGLV-522 Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The 522 configuration for the Long March New Generation Launch Vehicle series would use the 5.0 m diameter core stage with 2 x 2.25 m plus 2 x 3.35 m strap-on stages. Payload is estimated as 18-20 tonnes to low earth orbit. More...
  • Chinese RLV Chinese orbital launch vehicle. By the late 2000 a leading candidate for China's first reusable launch vehicle was a CALT-designed two-stage fully reusable rocket similar to the Kistler K-1. More...
  • CZ-NGLV-522/HO Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The 522/HO was the 'all up' baseline configuration for the Long March New Generation Launch Vehicle series. It would use the 5.0 m core stage, topped by the 5.0 m upper stage, together with 2 x 2.25 m plus 2 x 3.35 m strap-on stages. It was announced in 2003 that it would be first to fly, with a launch before the Beijing Olympics in 2008. It would be used for launch of large communications satellites. Payload is estimated as 10-12 tonnes to geosynchronous transfer orbit. More...
  • CZ-4C Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The CZ-4C, first flown in 2007, had an upgraded second-stage engine that could be restarted in space. The vehicle also had structural rings at the base of the first and second stages, an interstage weather cover,ejected at liftoff, and the larger payload shroud introduced on the CZ-4B. All of these indicated that the vehicle was designed to take larger payloads to higher, more precise orbits than the CZ-4B. More...
  • CZ-3C Chinese orbital launch vehicle. Launch vehicle combining CZ-3B core with two boosters from CZ-2E. The standard fairing was 9.56 m long, 4.0 m in diameter. On August 23, 2001, the CZ-3C launcher passed its critical design review. CZ-3C development had begun in 1995 but was suspended in 1996-2000 due to the 1996 CZ-3B failure. First launch was in 2008. More...
  • CZ-NGLV-200 Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The Long March New Generation Launch Vehicle series small launcher would use the 2.25 m diameter module as the first stage and a single upper stage of the same diameter (probably the existing YF-73 stage of the CZ-3). Payload was given as 1.5 tonnes into low earth orbit. First launch was expected after 2008. Although the configuration was not shown at the Wuzhai Air Show in 2002 it re-emerged at the FAI in 2003. It seemed to be in competition with the all-solid-propellant KT-1, KT-2, and KT-2A series. More...
  • CZ-NGLV-504 The 504 configuration for the Long March New Generation Launch Vehicle series would use the 5.0 m diameter core stage with four 3.35 m diameter stages as strap-ons. Payload was given as 25 tonnes to low earth orbit. A standard large 5.2 m diameter fairing tops the vehicle. It would be used to launch the Chinese Space Laboratory in 2010. More...
  • CZ-NGLV-504/HO Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The 504/HO configuration for the Long March New Generation Launch Vehicle series would use the 5.0 m core stage, topped by the 5.0 m upper stage, together with 4 x 3.35 m strap-on stages. First flight of this version was expected after 2010. Payload was given as 14 tonnes to geosynchronous transfer orbit. More...
  • CZ-NGLV-540/HO Chinese orbital launch vehicle. The 540/HO configuration for the Long March New Generation Launch Vehicle series would use the 5.0 m core stage, topped by the 5.0 m upper stage, together with 4 x 2.25 m strap-on stages. First flight of this version was expected after 2010. Payload was given as 6 tonnes to geosynchronous transfer orbit. More...

Associated Stages
  • DF-1-1 Lox/Alcohol rocket stage. 270.00 kN (60,698 lbf) thrust. Mass 14,000 kg (30,865 lb). More...
  • DF-2-1 Nitric acid/kerosene rocket stage. 300.00 kN (67,443 lbf) thrust. Mass 30,000 kg (66,139 lb). More...
  • DF-2A-1 Nitric acid/kerosene rocket stage. 300.00 kN (67,443 lbf) thrust. Mass 30,000 kg (66,139 lb). More...

CALT Chronology


1999 November 19 - . 22:30 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2F. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2F CZ2F-1 (59).
  • Shenzhou - . Mass: 7,600 kg (16,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: CALT. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 0.88 days. Decay Date: 1999-11-20 . USAF Sat Cat: 25956 . COSPAR: 1999-061A. Apogee: 315 km (195 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 42.6000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. The unmanned first test flight of a prototype of the Chinese Project 921-1 spacecraft took place 49 days after the planned date of October 1, 1999. Shenzhou separated from its launch vehicle and went into orbit about ten minutes after lift-off. The spacecraft was controlled from the new Beijing Aerospace Directing and Controlling Centre. The spacecraft did not manoeuvre during the flight. The first attempt to return the spacecraft to earth came on orbitt 12, but the retrofire command would not be accepted by the spacecraft's computer. A retry on the next orbit also failed.

    The Yuanwang-3 tracking ship off the coast of Namibia picked up the spacecraft's signal at 18:49 UT, and commanded retro-fire. This time the spacecraft accepted the command, which probably saved the entire program. The spacecraft passed out of range of the tracking ship nine minutes later. Its trajectory arced over Africa, skimmed the coast of the Arabian peninsula, and then over Pakistan, before re-entering over Tibet.

    Following re-entry, the drogue chute deployed at an altitude of 30 km with the capsules soft-landing rockets firing 1.5 m above the ground. The capsule landed at 41 deg N, 105 deg E, (415 km East of its launch pad and 110 km north-west of Wuhai, Inner Mongolia), at November 20 19:41 UT. The spacecraft had completed 14 orbits of the earth in 21 hours and 11 minutes.

    After the flight it was reported that not a single primary spacecraft system had failed, so none of the back-up systems were tested. The touchdown point was only 12 km from the predicted position. The soft landing braking rocket worked well - no damage was found to the capsule structure, heat shield or the seals. The jettisoned heat shield, parachute hatch, and drogue chute were found within 5 km of the landing point. The orbital module, which separated prior to retro-fire, continued in controlled flight until 27 November, when it decayed and reentered the atmosphere. A primary payload returned by Shenzhou were 100 kg of seeds, considered valuable to the Chinese after one day of exposure to the space environment. The Chinese space tracking fleet returned from the Shenzhou mission between 12 December 1999 and 4 January 2000. During their 259-day voyage, the four ships traveled 185,000 km and experienced some heavy seas while tracking and communicating with the Shenzhou for a total of 150 minutes. Additional Details: here....


2001 January 9 - . 17:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2F. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2F CZ2F-2 (65).
  • Shenzhou 2 - . Mass: 7,400 kg (16,300 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: CALT. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 6.77 days. Decay Date: 2001-01-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 26664 . COSPAR: 2001-001A. Apogee: 345 km (214 mi). Perigee: 330 km (200 mi). Inclination: 42.6000 deg. Period: 91.30 min. The second unmanned test flight of the Shenzhou manned spacecraft design carried a monkey, a dog and a rabbit in a test of the spaceship's life support systems. Shenzhou 2 was the first test of an all-up flight model of the spacecraft, with a functioning orbital module. It was also the most ambitious space science laboratory ever launched by China. It carried 64 scientific payloads: 15 in the re-entry module, 12 in the orbital module and 37 on the forward external pallet. These included a micro-gravity crystal growing device; life sciences experiments with 19 species of animals and plants, cosmic ray and particle detectors; and China's first gamma ray burst detectors.

    The launch was originally scheduled for January 5, but the second stage of the launch vehicle was dented by an access platform while being prepared for roll-out in the vehicle assembly building. This caused several days of delay until it was cleared for flight. Shenzhou 2 made three orbit-raising manoeuvres during its flight, reaching a 330 x 345 km orbit by the end of the initial phase of the mission. Ninety minutes before landing the orbital module depressurised, and the spacecraft went briefly out of control. However this was regained after venting of the atmosphere from the module ended. The descent module and service modules separated from the forward orbital module and external pallet normally. After retrofire by the service module, it separated and the descent module landed at 11:22 GMT on January 16 in Inner Mongolia. Lack of post-recovery photographs led to speculation that the recovery may not have been completely successful. The Shenzhou orbital module had its own solar panels and remained operational in orbit, conducting scientific experiments. It was actively controlled for six months, maneuvering in orbit several times (reaching a final orbit of 394 x 405 km). It then was allowed to decay and reentered the atmosphere at 09:05 GMT on August 24, 2001. The reentry point was near 33.1 deg S in latitude and 260.4 deg E in longitude, over the western Pacific Ocean between Easter Island and Chile.


2002 March 25 - . 14:15 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2F. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2F CZ2F-3 (66).
  • Shenzhou 3 - . Mass: 7,800 kg (17,100 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAS. Manufacturer: CALT. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 6.78 days. Decay Date: 2002-04-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 27397 . COSPAR: 2002-014A. Apogee: 379 km (235 mi). Perigee: 374 km (232 mi). Inclination: 42.4000 deg. Period: 92.10 min. The third unmanned test of the Shenzhou spacecraft was delayed almost three months when a defective connector was found on the booster after roll-out to the pad in January 2002. The vehicle was disassembled, and all suspect connectors were replaced. The stand-down also revealed ten previously undetected defects in the space capsule. The spacecraft, the first all-up flight model with a functioning (but deactivated) launch escape system, was finally launched and placed into an initial 197 x 326 km x 42.4 deg orbit at 1425 UTC. At about 2120 UTC Shenzhou used its own engine to raise its orbit to 332 x 337 km. The capsule included a dummy astronaut instrumented to monitor life support systems. The descent module returned to Earth on April 1 at 0851 UTC, landing in Inner Mongolia. The orbital module remained in orbit to carry out further experiments, finally being deorbited on 12 November 2002. The spacecraft carried 44 scientific payloads, including a medium-resolution imaging radiometer developed by Chinese Academy of Sciences, installed on the instrument pallet atop the orbital module.

2002 December 29 - . 16:49 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2F. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2F CZ2F-4 (69).
  • Shenzhou 4 - . Mass: 7,794 kg (17,182 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CAS. Manufacturer: CALT. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 6.77 days. Decay Date: 2003-01-05 . USAF Sat Cat: 27630 . COSPAR: 2002-061A. Apogee: 337 km (209 mi). Perigee: 331 km (205 mi). Inclination: 42.4000 deg. Period: 91.20 min. Final unmanned test of the Shenzhou spacecraft. First night launch of the CZ-2F was viewed by Party leaders on a very cold but clear night. The spacecraft carried fifty-two science payloads in four main areas: microwave Earth observation, space environment monitoring, microgravity fluid physics, and biological technology research. The spacecraft's reentry capsule was successfully recovered on 5 January 2003 at 1116 UT. The Chinese released the news and photographs of the capsule in the dusk snow only an hour later. The landing site was 40 km from Hohhot (40.51deg N, 111.38 deg E). As in prior missions, the orbital module continued in orbit. Chinese astronauts trained on the actual flight hardware before the launch and it was officially announced that this successful mission set the stage for a first Chinese manned spaceflight in the second half of 2003. Western observors noted that the orbit and ground track allowed launch of a second rendezvous vehicle, an indication of future manned space station missions. Shenzhou 4 carried 52 scientific payloads including a microwave radiometer using a reflector antenna, installed on top of the orbital module.

2003 October 15 - . 01:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2F. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2F CZ2F-5 (71).
  • Shenzhou 5 - . Crew: Yang Liwei. Backup Crew: Zhai Zhigang. Support Crew: Nie Haisheng. Mass: 7,840 kg (17,280 lb). Nation: China. Related Persons: Yang Liwei; Zhai Zhigang; Nie Haisheng. Agency: PLAAF. Manufacturer: CALT. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spacecraft. Flight: Shenzhou 5. Spacecraft: Shenzhou. Duration: 0.89 days. Decay Date: 2003-10-16 . USAF Sat Cat: 28043 . COSPAR: 2003-045A. Apogee: 336 km (208 mi). Perigee: 332 km (206 mi). Inclination: 42.4192 deg. Period: 91.20 min. China's first manned spaceflight began with the lift-off of the CZ-2F booster into the clear blue morning sky. All went according to plan and China's first man in space, Yang Liwei, entered an initial 200 km x 343 km orbit ten minutes after launch. The naval vessels standing buy for rescue in the Sea of Japan were called back to port.

    The highly conservative mission plan was for Yang to remain in the Shenzhou re-entry capsule for the entire 21-hour mission, and not to enter the orbital module. He had two rest periods of three hours each, and was scheduled to eat once or twice meals of what was said to be a superior form of Chinese space food. Frequent communications sessions, including colour television links to the spacecraft, were made possible by China's four tracking ships deployed in the oceans of the world.

    As the spacecraft was in its 21st orbit, the orbital module separated. It would stay in the 343 km orbit for a planned six-month military imaging reconnaissance mission. Retrofire was commanded via a tracking ship in the Atlantic off the coast of Africa. Shenzhou-5 landed only 4.8 km from the aim-point in Inner Mongolia with the parachute being sighted by the ground recovery forces prior to landing. Yang landed after 21 hours 23 minutes aloft.


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