Status: Active 1998-on. Born: 1964-09-08. Spaceflights: 2 . Total time in space: 19.42 days. Birth Place: Zaoyang, Hubei.
Flight training school of the PLA Air Force, 1984. Served as commander of a squadron, deputy commander of a group. Certified as a Master Navigator after graduation from Number 7 Flying School of the PLA Air Force in 1987. Began service as a fighter pilot on 12 June 1989. 171 cm tall, a lieutenant colonel in the PLAAF with 1480 flight hours as of 2004
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.
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.
Moved up from October 13. Second Chinese manned space mission. The two-astronaut crew spent 5 days in space, and worked in the Shenzhou orbital module for the first time. Aside from biomedical experiments, the nature of their work was not divulged, and few images of the interior of the orbital module (with its probable military experiments) were released.
Docked with the Tiangong-1 spacelab on June 13 at 05:11 GMT. On June 23 the crew carried out a redocking exercise. They undocked Shenzhou 10 from Tiangong at 00:26 GMT, backed away from the station, and redocked with it at 02:00 GMT. On June 24 the crew undocked for the final time, made a flyaround of the Tiangong station, and then prepared to return to Earth. The deorbit burn was at about 23:23 GMT Jun3 25. The capsule landed in China at 00:07 GMT June 26, at 42.33N 111.36E.