Nie Haisheng

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Nie Haisheng
Nie HaiSheng.png
Born (1964-10-13) 13 October 1964 (age 57)
NationalityChina Chinese
Alma mater PLA Air Force Changchun Flight College
Space career
PLAAC Taikonaut and Commander
Previous occupation
PLAAF fighter pilot, director of navigation
RankMajor general, PLASSF
Time in space
111 days, 14 hours and 12 minutes
SelectionChinese Group 1
Total EVAs
Total EVA time
5h 55m[1]
MissionsShenzhou 6, Shenzhou 10, Shenzhou 12
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese聂海胜
Traditional Chinese聶海勝
Literal meaningNie (surname) Sea-Victory

Nie Haisheng (born 13 October 1964[citation needed]) is a major general of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Strategic Support Force (PLASSF) in active service as an taikonaut and the third commander (unit chief) of the PLA Astronaut Corps (PLAAC). He was a PLA Air Force fighter pilot and director of navigation.

Nie flew on Shenzhou 6 and served as commander on both the Shenzhou 10 and Shenzhou 12 missions, the latter of which became the first crew to visit the Tiangong space station. With a combined 111 days in space, in 2021 he set a new record for longest stay in space by a Chinese astronaut, and is one of only two Chinese astronauts to have flown three times.[2]

Air Force career[edit]

Nie Haisheng on a 2010 stamp of Somalia

Nie was born on 08 September 1964[3][4] in Yangdang Town of Zaoyang County, Xiangyang City, Hubei Province. After graduating from high school he joined the People's Liberation Army Air Force in June 1983, and became a fighter pilot. He trained at the PLAAF's No. 7 Flying School and graduated in 1987.[5]

On 12 June 1989 while flying at 13,000 feet (4000 m) his plane suffered an explosion and he lost his engine. The plane began to spin to the ground and the cabin began to heat up. Trying to regain control, he waited until the plane was 1300 to 1700 feet (400 to 500 meters) before choosing to eject. For his handling of the situation he was honored with third-class merit.[citation needed]

Prior to Shenzhou 10, Nie had attained the rank of Major General.[6]

Astronaut Corps career[edit]

In January 1998, he was selected for the Chinese spaceflight program and was one of three candidates who were part of the final group to train for the Shenzhou 5 flight, China's first manned spaceflight. Yang Liwei was picked for the flight, with Zhai Zhigang ranked second ahead of Nie.[5]

Nie went into orbit, along with Fei Junlong (commander), as flight engineer of the Shenzhou 6 flight on 12 October 2005. The mission lasted just under five days.

He was selected to be the commander of the backup crew for the Shenzhou 9 mission.[7] In 2013, Nie was selected to command the Shenzhou 10 second manned space mission to the Chinese prototype space station Tiangong 1.[8] He became the first officer to hold general rank at the time of their launch in the Chinese space program with the Shenzhou 10 mission.[9]

Nie was chosen in December 2019 for his third spaceflight, Shenzhou 12, which lifted off on 17 June 2021 on the first manned mission to the Tiangong space station.[10] Nie conducted his first spacewalk outside the station on 20 August 2021.[11]


He is married to Nie Jielin (聂捷琳) and they have a daughter named Nie Tianxiang (聂天翔).[12] During the Shenzhou 6 mission he celebrated his 41st birthday in space.

The Asteroid 9517 Niehaisheng was named after him.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nie Haisheng - EVA experience". 20 August 2021. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  2. ^ "Chinese astronaut Nie Haisheng set for record-breaking space stay".
  3. ^ "Taikonaut Biography: Nie Haisheng". 27 June 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2021.
  4. ^ "Nie Haisheng". Retrieved 16 June 2021.
  5. ^ a b Jiang Wei (江巍) (16 June 2021). "Biographies of Shenzhou XII astronauts". Retrieved 21 June 2021.
  6. ^ "General ready for second space mission". SpaceDaily. 11 June 2013.
  7. ^ Morris Jones (3 April 2013). "Shenzhou's Shadow Crew". Space Daily.
  8. ^ "Astronauts of Shenzhou-10 mission meet press". Space Daily. 11 June 2013.
  9. ^ "China's space dream crystallized with Shenzhou-10 launch". SpaceDaily. 16 June 2013.
  10. ^ "Shenzhou-12: Chinese astronauts board space station module in historic mission". The Straits Times. 17 June 2021.
  11. ^ "Astronauts conduct second Chinese space station spacewalk". 20 August 2021.
  12. ^ "10日神十17时发射 江西女婿聂海胜任指令长" (in Chinese). 11 June 2013.

External links[edit]