Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

China reveals deadly threat to first flight

Yang in orbit October 2003.
by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Aug 13, 2007
China's historic first manned space mission narrowly averted disaster when ground control lost contact with the returning space capsule, China revealed for the first time Monday, four years later.

The communication blackout as the capsule re-entered the Earth's atmosphere threatened a safe landing by astronaut Yang Liwei and forced ground control to use backup systems, Xinhua news agency reported.

"Yang lost every means to contact with the ground command and control headquarters as soon as he entered (the atmosphere), which fell in the worst case scenario prepared by the space mission team," Xinhua quoted Dong Deyi, head of China's control centre, as saying.

Yang's short mission aboard the Shenzhou V in October 2003 was hailed as a huge success for China's fledgling space programme, making the country the third to place a man in space after the former Soviet Union and the United States.

Some communication obstructions are normal during re-entry but Dong said none of China's radar could pick up a signal from the capsule.

Even after communications were re-established, signals remained weak enough to leave Yang at risk of "lethal impact" upon landing, he said.

"The echo signals from the spaceship were still volatile, which sufficiently threatened the safe landing of astronaut Yang," Dong was quoted as saying.

China's space command in the northern city of Xi'an ordered implementation of an optical guiding and tracking system instead of communications-guided landing control, he said.

This allowed headquarters to "properly control the slow-down parachute, which was vital to a soft landing," Dong said.

Two years after Yang's mission, the Shenzhou VI carried two astronauts into space on a five-day mission.

China has since announced plans for its first lunar probe this year and has targeted putting a man on the moon within 15 years.

Related Links
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

China Trains Rescue Teams For Third Manned Space Program
Xian, China (XNA) Aug 01, 2007
Xi'an Satellite Control Center, a major Chinese institution responsible for recovering satellites and spaceships, has started training its rescue and search teams for the third manned space mission, scheduled to be launched in 2008. Yao Liang, head of the center's rescue and recovery team, said their work, which is the last step of a manned space program, includes locating the space capsule that re-enters the earth's atmosphere, rescuing astronauts and transporting the capsule from the landing site to the control center.

  • India Wants To Launch First Reusuable Space Launcher By 2010
  • NASA Awards First Stage Contract For Ares Rockets
  • UC Experts Detail New Standard For Cleaner Transportation Fuels
  • Indigenous Cryogenic Stage Tested For Eight Minutes

  • ILS to Launch Inmarsat Satellite On Proton Vehicle Next Spring
  • Russian Proton-M Rocket To Launch Japanese Telecoms Satellite
  • A Double Transfer At The Spaceport For The Next Two Ariane 5 Launchers
  • European Automated Space Truck Arrive At South American Spaceport

  • NASA 'optimistic' no repair job needed on damaged shuttle tiles
  • NASA still mulling shuttle repair spacewalk
  • NASA weighs repair to shuttle, extends mission by 3 days
  • Damage to Endeavour appears less serious

  • Astronauts prepare for first spacewalk of Endeavour mission
  • Astronauts To Conduct Study Of Bacterial Growth In Space
  • Progress Cargo Ship With Computer Equipment Docks With ISS
  • Progress 26 To Dock Sunday At Station

  • US teacher gives first lesson from space
  • NASA Issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement For Constellation Programme
  • Undersea Mission Aids Development Of Self-Test For Stress And Fatigue
  • NASA Seeks Launch Logistics Help

  • China reveals deadly threat to historic space flight
  • China Trains Rescue Teams For Third Manned Space Program
  • Chinese Astronauts Begin Training For Spacewalk
  • China Prepares To Select New Taikonauts

  • Drive-By-Wire And Human Behavior Systems Key To Virginia Tech Urban Challenge Vehicle
  • Successful Jules Verne Rendezvous Simulation At ATV Control Centre
  • Robotic Einstein Wows Spanish Technology Fair
  • Robotic Ankle For Amputees Is Developed

  • Phoenix Adjusts Course Successfully For Journey To Mars
  • What Makes Mars Magnetic
  • Helping Phoenix Land
  • Brighter Skies Lifts Rover Spirit As MER-A Gets Active

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright Space.TV Corporation. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space.TV Corp on any Web page published or hosted by Space.TV Corp. Privacy Statement