Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 258


People's Republic of China

Patch Shenzhou-7

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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  25.09.2008
Launch time:  13:10:04.988 UTC
Launch site:  Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  330 - 340 km
Inclination:  42.41°
Landing date:  28.09.2008
Landing time:  09:37:40 UTC
Landing site:  42°16'37'' N, 111°21'34'' E

walkout photo

Crew Shenzhou-7

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alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Zhai  Zhigang  Commander 1 2d 20h 27m 35s  45 
2  Liu  Boming  Orbital Module Astronaut 1 2d 20h 27m 35s  45 
3  Jing  Haipeng  Return Module Duty Astronaut 1 2d 20h 27m 35s  45 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Zhai
2  Liu
3  Jing
1  Zhai
2  Liu
3  Jing

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Chen  Quan  Commander
2  Fei  Junlong  Orbital Module Astronaut
3  Nie  Haisheng  Return Module Duty Astronaut
Crew Shenzhou-7 (prime and backup)


Launch vehicle:  Long March 2F (Chang Zheng CZ-2F No. Y7)
Spacecraft:  Shenzhou-7


Launch from Jiuquan Satellite Launching Center and landing 162 km north of Hohhot in Inner Mongolia; third Chinese manned spaceflight.

Zhai Zhigang performed the first spacewalk of a Chinese on September 27, 2008 (22m). He was wearing a Chinese Feitian spacesuit. Zhai Zhigang was assisted by Liu Boming who made a stand-up EVA, wearing a Russian Orlan suit. During this spacewalk Zhai Zhigang retrieved an experiment mounted to Shenzhou-7's exterior. The Shenzhou-7 EVA made the Chinese space program the third to have conducted an EVA. EVAs had previously been conducted by the space programs of the Soviet Union (later Russia) and the United States.

The Feitian spacesuit is similar to the Orlan-M (known as Haiying) in shape and volume and are designed for spacewalks of up to seven hours, providing oxygen and allowing for the excretion of bodily waste. According to Chinese media reports, spacesuit materials with such features as fire and radiation resistance were developed by several civilian corporations and national institutes. Each suit was reported to have cost 30 million RMB (about 4.4 million USD). Except for the gloves of the Feitian suit, the space suits were not brought back to earth

A miniaturized satellite was released during the mission on September 27, 2008 at 19:24 UTC, after Zhai Zhigang returned to the spacecraft. The satellite was a cube about 40 cm (16 in) long, with a mass of 40 kilograms (88 lb); it carried boost devices and two 150-megapixel stereo cameras. The satellite's tasks included testing the mini-satellite technology, observing and monitoring the spacecraft, and testing the tracking and approaching technology used for space rendezvous and docking.
The miniaturized satellite took photos and videos near the spacecraft, then maneuvered to about 100 to 200 kilometers (62 to 120 mi) away from the spacecraft. After the return module separated from the spacecraft and re-entered the atmosphere, the satellite caught up to the orbiting spacecraft using a liquid ammonia engine, then continue to orbit around the spacecraft. The mini-satellite will work for about three months.

Scientists conducted a solid lubricant exposure experiment during the mission. A piece of equipment the size of a book was installed on the outside wall of the orbital module, and was later retrieved during the space walk, after having been exposed in space for more than 40 hours. The experiment was aimed to study a lubricant which will be used for space-based moving components in future space facilities.

EVA data

  Name Start End Duration Mission Airlock Suit
EVA Zhai, Zhigang 27.09.2008, 08:3? UTC 27.09.2008, 09:0? UTC 0h 22m Shenzhou-7 Feitjan
SEVA Liu, Boming 27.09.2008, 08:3? UTC 27.09.2008, 09:0? UTC 0h 22m Shenzhou-7 Orlan-M No. 42

Photos / Graphics

Shenzhou-7 - EVA Shenzhou-7 rollout
Shenzhou-7 on launch pad Shenzhou-7 launch
Zhai during EVA EVA Zhai
Shenzhou-7 landing Shenzhou-7 recovery


Last update on December 26, 2023.