June 21, 1965 |
Suizhong, Liaoning, China
|Other occupation||Fighter pilot|
|Rank||Major General, PLAAF|
|Time in space||21 hours, 22 minutes, 45 seconds|
|Selection||Chinese Group 1|
Yang Liwei (simplified Chinese: 杨利伟; traditional Chinese: 楊利偉; pinyin: Yáng Lìwěi ); born June 21, 1965) is a Major General in the PLAAF, as well as China National Space Administration astronaut. In 2003, he became the first person sent into space by the Chinese space program. This mission, Shenzhou 5, made China the third country to independently send humans into space.
Yang Liwei has reported the apparition of abnormal vibrations 120 seconds after launch, he described as "very uncomfortable". As a consequence, corrective measures were swiftly taken to the design of the following CZ-2F carrier rocket for the Shenzhou-6.
Yang's craft landed in the grasslands of the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia at around 06:30 CST on October 16, 2003 (22:00 UTC), having completed 14 orbits and travelled more than 600,000 km. Yang left the capsule about 15 minutes after landing, and was congratulated by Premier Wen Jiabao. But the astronaut's bleeding lips seen in the official images broadcast  sparked rumours of a hard landing confirmed by accounts of personnel present at the landing site.
On November 7, Yang received the title of "Space Hero" from Jiang Zemin, the Chairman of the PRC Central Military Commission (CMC). He also received a badge of honour during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People. Russia awarded him the Gagarin medal.
After Shenzhou 5
In a move similar to those taken by the Soviet Union and the United States (with national space flight heroes Yuri Gagarin and John Glenn, respectively), an official decision to no longer assign him to spaceflight missions was made (note: Glenn subsequently flew a second space flight on October 29, 1998, on Space Shuttle Discovery's STS-95). Yang was promoted to Major General on July 22, 2008.
- Seedhouse, Erik (2009). "The New Space Race: China vs. USA". Springer. ISBN 144190879X.
- ""神七"运载火箭完成总装和出厂测试 今将出征". 中国新闻网. 2008-07-19. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- "杨利伟：“职业航天员是我的事业和人生追求”". 新华网. September 29, 2007. Retrieved June 8, 2008.
- China Daily. http://www2.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-08/20/content_470775.htm
- "我国首位“太空人”杨利伟被授予少将军衔(图)". 北方网. July 22, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2008.
- Spacefacts biography of Yang Liwei
- United Nations: Background Information on Chinese Astronaut, Yang Liwei