Encyclopedia Astronautica
PLAAF


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

More... - Chronology...


Associated People
  • Wang Rongsen Wang Rongsen (1934-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Wang was a PLAAF deputy division commander when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Fang Guojun Fang Guojun (1934-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. More...
  • Li Shichang Li Shichang (1935-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Joined PLA in 1956. He was a PLAAF regiment Deputy Party Commissar when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Lu Xiangxiao Lu Xiangxiao (1936-) Chinese PLAAF pilot, astronaut in the first Chinese training group of 1971-1972. More...
  • Wang Fuquan Wang Fuquan (1939-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Joined PLA in 1958. He was a PLAAF deputy regiment commander when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Shao Zhijian Shao Zhijian (1940-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Joined PLA in 1958. He was a PLAAF regiment commander when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Zhang Ruxiang Zhang Ruxiang (1941-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Joined PLA in 1958. He was a PLAAF regiment commander when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Wang Zhiyue Wang Zhiyue (1941-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. More...
  • Liu Chongfu Liu Chongfu (1941-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Joined PLA in 1960. He was a PLAAF squadron commander when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Meng Senlin Meng Senlin (1947-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Joined PLA in 1965. He was a PLAAF squadron commander when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Du Jincheng Du Jincheng (1949-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Joined PLA in 1965. He was a PLAAF squadron commander when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Li Qinglong Li Qinglong (1962-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1996-on.Trained together with Wu Jie in Russia in for one year beginning in November 1996. They formed the basis of the Chinese astronaut cadre for the Shenzhou program. More...
  • Yang Liwei Yang Liwei (1965-) Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 5. First Chinese man in space. More...
  • Fei Junlong Fei Junlong (1966-) Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 6. PLAAF pilot, flight trainer and flight technology inspector. More...
  • Liu Buoming Liu Buoming (1966-) Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 7. In the 05/2003 issue of Fliegerrevue, this was one of 12 new names listed as Chinese astronauts in training. Selected in 2008 as prime crew of Shenzhou 7 More...
  • Jing Haipen Jing Haipen (1966-) Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 7. In the 05/2003 issue of Fliegerrevue, this was one of 12 new names listed as Chinese astronauts in training. Selected in 2008 as prime crew of Shenzhou 7. More...
  • Zhai Zhigang Zhai Zhigang (1966-) Chinese pilot taikonaut. Flew on Shenzhou 7. First taikonaut to walk in space. More...
  • Liu Wang Liu Wang (1970-) Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1998-on. In the 05/2003 issue of Fliegerrevue, this was one of 12 new names listed as Chinese astronauts in training. More...
  • Hu Zhanzi Hu Zhanzi Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Joined PLA in 1958. He was a PLAAF pilot when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Yu Guilin Yu Guilin Chinese PLAAF pilot. Astronaut candidate in 1970, but failed centrifuge test. More...
  • Wang Quanbo Wang Quanbo Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Joined PLA in 1958. He was a PLAAF squadron commander when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Liu Zhongyi Liu Zhongyi Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Born in the north east of China and joined the PLA in 1958. He was an PLAAF pilot when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Dong Xiaohai Dong Xiaohai Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. More...
  • Ma Zizhong Ma Zizhong Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Ma was a PLAAF regiment Deputy Party Commissar when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Wang Fuhe Wang Fuhe Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1971, but program cancelled less than a year later. Wang was a PLAAF pilot when selected. Selected as Chinese astronaut in March 1971. More...
  • Xue Lun Xue Lun Chinese pilot. Head of the first Chinese astronaut group, Unit 714, in 1971. Purged after being accused of involvement in Lin Biao's coup d'etat against Mao Zedong. The group was dissolved soon thereafter. More...
  • Zhang Xiaoguan Zhang Xiaoguan Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1998-on. 172 cm tall and weighing 65.5 kg, a lieutenant colonel, PLAAF squadron commander, and accumulated 1000 flight-hours as of 2004. More...
  • Deng Qingming Deng Qingming Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1998-on. PLAAF pilot. Selected in the first Chinese cosmonaut detachment. More...
  • Zhao Chuandong Zhao Chuandong Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1998-on. In the 05/2003 issue of Fliegerrevue, this was one of 12 new names listed as Chinese astronauts in training. PLA Air Force More...
  • Pan Zhanchun Pan Zhanchun Chinese PLAAF Pilot. In the 05/2003 issue of Fliegerrevue, this was one of 12 new names listed as Chinese astronauts in training. More...
  • Chen Quan Chen Quan Chinese pilot taikonaut, 1998-on. Chen was a PLAAF regiment commander when selected. Chen was a PLAAF regiment commander when selected. More...

Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Shuguang 1 Chinese manned spacecraft. Cancelled 1972. Shuguang-1 (Dawn-1) was China's first manned spacecraft design. The two-man capsule would have been similar to the American Gemini capsule and been launched by the CZ-2 booster. More...

See also
  • Agency Agencies or institutions overseeing design, development, construction, or operation of space-related systems. More...

Associated Flights
  • Shenzhou 5 Crew: Yang Liwei. First Chinese man in space. Highly conservative mission. Single astronaut stayed in the re-entry capsule for the entire 21-hour mission, and did not enter the orbital module. Backup crew: Zhai Zhigang.Support crew: Nie Haisheng. More...

PLAAF Chronology


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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