List of Chinese astronauts

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Nie Haisheng exits the re-entry capsule of Shenzhou 6 at the main landing field in Central Inner Mongolia.

This is a list of Chinese astronauts (or 'taikonauts'), people trained by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft. As the Chinese space program developed during the sixties, various proposals for manned spacecraft were made.

The first manned spacecraft proposed by the People's Republic of China during the late 1960s and early 70s was the Shuguang One which was expected to bring the first Chinese astronaut in 1973 into space.[1] For this programme 19 astronauts were selected in 1971.[1] However, shortly after these plans were made, several leading scientists attached to the project were denounced during the Cultural Revolution, bringing progress to a standstill.[1] Instead, NASA astronaut Taylor Wang became the first Chinese person in space in 1985.

For China’s current Shenzhou program several astronaut were selected. In 2003, Yang Liwei was launched aboard Shenzhou 5, becoming the first person sent into space by the Chinese space program.[2] This achievement made China the third country to independently send humans into space. During the Shenzhou 7 mission in 2008, Zhai Zhigang became the first Chinese citizen to carry out a spacewalk.[3] In 2012, Liu Yang became the first Chinese woman to be launched into space when she was launched aboard Shenzhou 9.

As of 2013, ten Chinese nationals have traveled in space.

Astronauts[edit]

Flown[edit]

Name Photograph Mission(s) (dates) Notes
Yang Liwei Yang Liwei.jpg Shenzhou 5 (October 15, 2003) First Chinese national in space. First solo man in space who was neither American nor Russian.
Fei Junlong Fei Junlong.jpg Shenzhou 6 (October 12-16, 2005) Commander in the first two man Chinese crew in space.
Nie Haisheng Nie Haisheng.JPG Shenzhou 6 (October 12-16, 2005)
Shenzhou 10 (June 11-26, 2013)
First in a two man Chinese crew in space.
Jing Haipeng Jing Haipeng.JPG Shenzhou 7 (September 25-28, 2008)
Shenzhou 9 (June 16-29, 2012)
First in a three man Chinese crew in space. First repeat Chinese national in space. Commander in the first Chinese crew to achieve manned spacecraft docking.
Liu Boming Liu Boming.JPG Shenzhou 7 (September 25-28, 2008) First in a three man Chinese crew in space.
Zhai Zhigang Zhai Zhigang.JPG Shenzhou 7 (September 25-28, 2008) First Chinese national to walk in space. Commander in the first Chinese three man crew in space.
Liu Wang LIU Wang CUHK 2012.JPG Shenzhou 9 (June 16-29, 2012) First in a Chinese crew to achieve manned spacecraft docking.
Liu Yang LIU Yang CUHK 2012.JPG Shenzhou 9 (June 16-29, 2012) First Chinese woman in space. First in a Chinese crew to achieve manned spacecraft docking.
Zhang Xiaoguang Shenzhou 10 (June 11-26, 2013)
Wang Yaping Shenzhou 10 (June 11-26, 2013)

By selection group[edit]

May 1970 - Shuguang Group 
October 1996 (part of the Shenzhou program)
January 1998 - (part of the Shenzhou program)
March 2010 - (part of the Shenzhou program) [4][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Shuguang 1". Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  2. ^ "Shenzhou 5". Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  3. ^ "Shenzhou 7". Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  4. ^ China 2, spacefacts.de
  5. ^ Space.com, "Names of China's Secret Astronauts Revealed by Autographed Envelope", Robert Z. Pearlman, 7 December 2011

See also[edit]