Shenzhou Model

On 19 November 1999, China launched a spacecraft, known as Shenzhou ('Magic Boat') which will be used in the Chinese crewed space program. China has distributed a 1:40 scale model of this unusual spacecraft. Western observers are continuing to find out more about it, based on Chinese TV broadcasts and rare photographs. The grey part of the model above is the reentry capsule, which reentered after the test flight late last year. Three other unmanned Shenzhous were launched on 9 January 2001, 25 March 2002, and 29 December 2002. Shenzhou 5 carrying Yang Liwei was launched on 15 October 2003. I do not own the model, which was given to the Institute for Telecommunications Research, University of South Australia after the launch of Shenzhou 1.

Yours truly with model.

Full view of front.

Closeup of front.






On the front and back of the base of the model was written in Chinese "Commemorating first flight of the Chinese Manned spacecraft Shenzhou, 1:40 scale model, Chinese Astronautical Technology Research Group".

Model dimensions (after scaling 26 Apr 2000):
Service Module: 2.8 m base, 2.5 m middle, 2.4 m top diameter, 3.05 m length (excluding engines)
Capsule: 2.4 m base diamater, 2.0 m length (excluding heat shield)
Orbital Module: 2.2 m diameter, 2.8 m length
"Docking Mechanism": 0.95 m high, 1.3 m wide, 0.8 m long excluding semi-circular ring (which has 1.1 m inner diameter) and 0.4 m "probes"
Solar Panels: 2 m x 7.5 m for Service Module and 2 m x 3.4 m for Orbital Module (excluding triangular attachments).

Update: 4 April 2002

New dimensions for the Shenzhou have been released. These are:
Propulsion Module: 2.8 m maximum diameter, 2.94 m length
Descent Module: 2.5 m maximum diameter, 2.059 length
Orbital Module: 2.25 m diameter, 2.8 m length
Solar Panels: 24 m2 for Propulsion Module and 12 m2 for Orbital Module.
Total Mass: 7800 kg
Launch Escape System/Vehicle: 3.8 m diameter, 15.1 m length, 11,260 kg mass
CZ-2F: 58.34 length, 479,700 kg mass

24 Jan 2005 Steven S. Pietrobon (