Encyclopedia Astronautica
CASC


Chinese manufacturer of spacecraft. China Aerospace Corporation, China.

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Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • DFH-1 Chinese communications technology satellite. 3 launches, 1969.11.16 (DFH Mao 1) to 1971.03.03 (SJ-1). First Chinese satellite. The initial satellite was flown for purely propaganda purposes, using a tune generator to play the 'East is Red'. More...
  • FY-1 Chinese earth weather satellite. 4 launches, 1988.09.06 (FY-1A) to 2002.05.15 (SJ-6A). The Feng Yun 1 meteorological satellites were launched into sun-synchronous 900 km, 99 deg inclination orbits by CZ-4 boosters from Taiyuan. More...
  • Project 921-2 Chinese manned space station. Study 2007. Phase 2 of China's Project 921 was to culminate in orbiting of an 8-metric ton man-tended mini-space station. More...
  • Shenzhou Chinese manned spacecraft. Operational, first launch 1999.11.19. The Chinese Shenzhou manned spacecraft resembled the Russian Soyuz spacecraft, but was of larger size and all-new construction. More...
  • Shenzhou SM Chinese manned spacecraft module. Operational, first launch 1999.11.19. The service module, developed by the Shanghai Academy of Space Technology, provides the electrical power, attitude, control and propulsion for the spacecraft in orbit. More...
  • Shenzhou RV Chinese manned spacecraft module. Operational, first launch 1999.11.19. The re-entry vehicle was conceptually based on the Soyuz, but was not a copy. More...
  • Shenzhou OM Chinese manned spacecraft module. Operational, first launch 1999.11.19. The orbital module provided quarters for the crew during the space mission, and could be fitted out with different internal and external equipment according to mission requirements. More...
  • DFH-4 Large Chinese communications satellite bus using a blend of Chinese and subcontracted European technologies. Operational, first launch on 2006.10.28 (Xinnuo 2). More...
  • Chang'e Chinese unmanned lunar orbiter. Two launched, 2007.10.24 and 2010.10.01. Originally announced in March 2003 with the first spacecraft to reach the moon by the end of 2005. More...
  • Chinese Space Laboratory Chinese manned space station. Study 2012. The latest models displayed of the Chinese Space Laboratory show it to have a larger-diameter module, about 4 m in diameter, and a narrower module forward, about 3 m in diameter. More...
  • Shenzhou Circumlunar Chinese manned lunar flyby spacecraft. In January and February 2003 Chinese sources began discussing plans for a Chinese manned circumlunar mission by 2008. Nothing came of these plans. More...

See also
Associated Programs
  • Chinastar Zhongxing and Zhongwei (Chinastar) communications satellites were orbited by China Orient Telecommunications Satellite Company, part of the Chinese telecommunications ministry. A combination of indigenous and foreign satellites are used. Zhongxing 1 to 4 were apparently some of the earlier DFH-2 and DFH-3 satellites (although more than four reached geosynchronous orbit). Zhongxing 5 was the former Spacenet 1. More...

CASC Chronology


1993 October 8 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2C. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2C CZ2C-14 (31).
  • FSW-1 No. 5 - . Payload: Jian Bing 93. Mass: 2,099 kg (4,627 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: FSW. Decay Date: 1993-10-28 . USAF Sat Cat: 22859 . COSPAR: 1993-063A. Apogee: 2,860 km (1,770 mi). Perigee: 181 km (112 mi). Inclination: 56.6000 deg. Period: 116.50 min. The only FSW-1 mission conducted during 1993-1994 was launched into an orbit of 209 km by 300 km at an inclination of 57.0 deg. In addition to an Earth observation Payload, FSW-1 5 carried microgravity research equipment and a diamond-studded medallion commemorating the 100th anniversary of Chairman Mao Tse-Tung's birth. The spacecraft operated normally until 16 October when an attempt to recover the satellite failed. An attitude control system failure aligned the spacecraft 90 deg from its desired position, causing the re-entry capsule to be pushed into a higher elliptical orbit (179 km by 3031 km) instead of returning to Earth. Natural decay did not bring the capsule back until March 12, 1996.

1994 February 8 - . 08:34 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC2. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3A. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3A CZ3A-1 (32).
  • SJ-4 - . Payload: Shi Jian 4. Mass: 400 kg (880 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: SJ. USAF Sat Cat: 22996 . COSPAR: 1994-010A. Apogee: 26,837 km (16,675 mi). Perigee: 195 km (121 mi). Inclination: 28.7000 deg. Period: 465.40 min. Summary: Particles and fields research. .
  • KF-1 - . Payload: Kua Fu 1 / DFH-3 mockup. Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Program: Chinastar. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: DFH-3. Decay Date: 2002-02-07 . USAF Sat Cat: 23009 . COSPAR: 1994-010B. Apogee: 36,046 km (22,397 mi). Perigee: 178 km (110 mi). Inclination: 28.5000 deg. Period: 635.69 min. Summary: Mass model of DFH-3 satellite..

1994 July 3 - . 08:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. Launch Pad: LA2B?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2D. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2D CZ2D-2 (33).
  • FSW-2 No. 2 - . Payload: FSW-2 No. 02. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 15.00 days. Decay Date: 1994-09-13 . USAF Sat Cat: 23145 . COSPAR: 1994-037A. Apogee: 350 km (210 mi). Perigee: 207 km (128 mi). Inclination: 62.9000 deg. Period: 90.08 min. The second Fanhui Shi Weixing FSW-2 was launched on 3 July 1994 into an orbit of 173 km by 343 km at an inclination of 63.0 deg. The spacecraft remained in orbit for 15 days, making four small manoeuvres before successfully returning to Earth. The payload included Earth observation systems, a biological experiment, and microgravity research instruments. The retrievable capsule was recovered in China on July 18

1996 October 20 - . 07:20 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan LA2B. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2D. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2D CZ2D-3 (43).
  • FSW-2 No. 3 - . Payload: FSW-2 No. 03. Mass: 2,600 kg (5,700 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance satellite. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 15.00 days. Decay Date: 1996-12-03 . USAF Sat Cat: 24634 . COSPAR: 1996-059A. Apogee: 133 km (82 mi). Perigee: 121 km (75 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 87.00 min. Summary: Final launch in the FSW series. Landed in China on November 4 after 15 days in orbit..

1997 June 10 - . 12:01 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3 CZ3-12 (45).
  • FY-2A - . Payload: Fengyun 2A. Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: SARTI. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: FY-2. USAF Sat Cat: 24834 . COSPAR: 1997-029A. Apogee: 35,784 km (22,235 mi). Perigee: 35,783 km (22,234 mi). Inclination: 0.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Geosynchronous weather satellite; also known as FY-2B. Operated in geosynchronous orbit at 105 deg E in 1997-2000; 85 deg E in 2000.. The FY-2A stopped transmission in April 1998 but was put back into partial operation in December 1998. Its imager then failed completely on 30 September 1998 and it was retired in April 2000. As of 4 September 2001 located at 83.55 deg E drifting at 0.074 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 58.96E drifting at 0.025W degrees per day.

1999 May 10 - . 01:33 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-1 (56).
  • FY-1C - . Payload: Feng Yun 1C. Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: FY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 25730 . COSPAR: 1999-025A. Apogee: 880 km (540 mi). Perigee: 846 km (525 mi). Inclination: 98.8000 deg. Period: 102.20 min. Summary: Operational weather satellite. First launch of stretched CZ-4B booster. After retirement the satellite was destroyed in the first test of the Chinese ASAT weapon on 11 January 2007..
  • SJ-5 - . Payload: Shi Jian 5. Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering. Class: Earth. Type: Magnetosphere satellite. Spacecraft: SJ. USAF Sat Cat: 25731 . COSPAR: 1999-025B. Apogee: 865 km (537 mi). Perigee: 841 km (522 mi). Inclination: 98.9000 deg. Period: 102.00 min. Summary: Research satellite carried as a secondary payload to study the radiation belts..

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....


2000 June 25 - . 11:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. Launch Complex: Xichang LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3 CZ3-13 (61).
  • Fengyun-2 - . Mass: 1,250 kg (2,750 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: FY-2. USAF Sat Cat: 26382 . COSPAR: 2000-032A. Apogee: 35,790 km (22,230 mi). Perigee: 35,786 km (22,236 mi). Inclination: 0.8000 deg. Period: 1,436.20 min. Second Fengyun-2 weather satellite, replacing the first FY-2 (retired in April after a three year service life). The spin-stabilised FY-2 fired its solid apogee motor early on Jun 26. By July 3, it was in a 35,791 x 35,804 km x 1.1 deg orbit drifting over the Pacific. Stationed at 104 deg E. Positioned in geosynchronous orbit at 110 deg E in 2000. As of 5 September 2001 located at 104.56 deg E drifting at 0.030 deg W per day. As of 2007 Mar 11 located at 34.70W drifting at 0.629W degrees per day.

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 May 15 - . 01:50 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-4 (67).
  • Haiyang 1 - . Mass: 360 kg (790 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Earth. Type: Earth resources satellite. Spacecraft: HY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 27430 . COSPAR: 2002-024A. Apogee: 799 km (496 mi). Perigee: 785 km (487 mi). Inclination: 98.4000 deg. Period: 100.70 min. The HY-1 (Haiyang-1) marine observation satellite separated shortly after the FY-1D. The 360 kg HY-1 was based on the SJ-5 bus and carried an IR radiometer and CCD imager for oceanographic studies. Between May 21 and May 26, HY-1 lowered its orbit to 793 x 799 km using on-board propulsion.
  • Feng Yun 1D - . Mass: 960 kg (2,110 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Class: Earth. Type: Weather satellite. Spacecraft: FY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 27431 . COSPAR: 2002-024B. Apogee: 873 km (542 mi). Perigee: 850 km (520 mi). Inclination: 98.7000 deg. Period: 102.20 min. The second stage separated six minutes after launch, putting the stack on a suborbital trajectory. After a brief coast up to 860 km the third stage fired at around 0200 UTC to circularize the orbit. FY-1D, a 950 kg weather satellite with a 10-channel radiometer, separated from the stack followed by a small adapter. The final stage was left in a slightly lower 812 x 883 km orbit.

2005 July 5 - . 22:40 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. Launch Complex: Jiuquan SLS-2. Launch Pad: SLS-2?. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2D. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2D CZ2D-6 (85).
  • SJ-7 - . Payload: Shi Jian 7. Nation: China. Manufacturer: CASC. Spacecraft: SJ. USAF Sat Cat: 28737 . COSPAR: 2005-024A. Apogee: 573 km (356 mi). Perigee: 555 km (344 mi). Inclination: 97.6000 deg. Period: 95.90 min.

2006 April 26 - . 22:48 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. Launch Complex: Taiyuan LC1. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-4B. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 4B CZ4B-9 (89).
  • Yaogan 1 - . Mass: 2,700 kg (5,900 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CNSA. Manufacturer: CASC. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft: Yaogan. USAF Sat Cat: 29092 . COSPAR: 2006-015A. Apogee: 630 km (390 mi). Perigee: 627 km (389 mi). Inclination: 97.8000 deg. Period: 97.30 min. Summary: Remote sensing satellite built by the Shanghai SAST Group. In reality it was the first Chinese synthetic aperture radar military surveillance satellite..

2006 September 9 - . 07:00 GMT - . Launch Site: Jiuquan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2C. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2C CZ2C-28 (90).
  • SJ-8 - . Mass: 3,000 kg (6,600 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: SAST. Class: Technology. Type: Navigation technology satellite. Spacecraft: FSW. Duration: 14.82 days. Decay Date: 2006-11-01 . USAF Sat Cat: 29385 . COSPAR: 2006-035A. Apogee: 336 km (208 mi). Perigee: 173 km (107 mi). Inclination: 63.0000 deg. Period: 89.60 min. Summary: Long delayed Seed Satellite, an experiment in which a large payload of seeds were exposed to te space environment for two weeks. The modified FSW optical reconnaisance satellite capsule was recovered in Sichuan at 02:43 GMT on September 24..

2007 April 11 - . 03:27 GMT - . Launch Site: Taiyuan. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-2C. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 2C CZ2C-29 (96).
  • Haiyang 1B - . Mass: 360 kg (790 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: DFH. Class: Earth. Type: Sea satellite. Spacecraft: HY-1. USAF Sat Cat: 31113 . COSPAR: 2007-010A. Apogee: 815 km (506 mi). Perigee: 782 km (485 mi). Inclination: 98.6000 deg. Period: 100.80 min. Summary: Oceanographic satellite equipped with a 10-band ocean color scanner, a 4-band CCD imager with 250-meter resolution, and an infrared water profile radiometer..

2007 April 12 - . 20:11 GMT - . Launch Site: Xichang. LV Family: CZ. Launch Vehicle: CZ-3A. LV Configuration: Chang Zheng 3A CZ3A-13 (97).
  • Beidou M1 - . Payload: Beidou M1. Mass: 2,200 kg (4,800 lb). Nation: China. Agency: CASC. Manufacturer: CAST. Class: Navigation. Type: Navigation satellite. Spacecraft: Beidou. USAF Sat Cat: 31115 . COSPAR: 2007-011A. Apogee: 21,544 km (13,386 mi). Perigee: 21,519 km (13,371 mi). Inclination: 55.3000 deg. Period: 773.40 min. Summary: The fifth Beidou satellite, but the first in the 12-hour, 55 deg inclination MEO portion of the constellation. All previous launches had been to populate the geostationary portion of the system..

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