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Shenzhou 10

Scarborough, UK
2014 Apr 25
Friday, Day 115

Maintained by:

Shenzhou 10 Diary

This Diary is extracted from's 'Go For Launch' ongoing chronology of space events and includes all entries relating directly to Shenzhou 10.

Following a link from within the diary will leave the Shenzhou 10 pages - use your 'Back' button to return here.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS & WEBSITES - you are welcome to use information from this page providing the website is credited as the source and a direct link to this page is included in your copy.

Date Time (UTC) Event
2013 Feb 4
Tiangong 1 Orbit Boost
On orbit
Apogee and perigee raised in a two part manoeuvre in order to set up the orbit for the Shenzhou 10 mission, due for launch 2013 June 11.

Later, the the orbit will be adjusted, ready for rendezvous, as happened with Shenzhou 9:

Tiangong 1 Orbit history:

Shenzhou 10 launch window evolution:

2013 Mar 19
Shenzhou 10 - Launch Vehicle Inspection
Long March 2F for the mission passes the Factory Review - ready for shipping to Jiuquan:

2013 Mar 22
Shenzhou 10 - Spacecraft Inspection
Spacecraft passes the Factory Review - ready for shipping to Jiuquan:

2013 Mar 30
Shenzhou 10 - Departure from Beijing
Packed in three consignments: service module, crew cabin and orbital module for transport to Jiuquan using two aircraft.

Launch campaign timetable:

2013 Mar 31
Shenzhou 10 - Arrival Jiuquan
Arrival time is for landing at the Jiuquan Space Centre airport.

Launch campaign timetable:

2013 Apr 29
Shenzhou 10 - Launch Vehicle to Launch Site
Nanyuan railway station, Beijing
One day later than the forecast:

2013 May 2
Shenzhou 10 - Launch Vehicle Arrival at Jiuquan
Approximate time.


2013 May 20
Shenzhou 10 - Mission Readiness Review
Date implied by subsequent events.

2013 May 21
Tiangong 1 - Orbit Lowered
Manoeuvre in preparation for the Shenzhou 10 mission. Time is approximate and there is a slight possibility it occurred one revolution earlier - around 16:47 UTC.

Orbit changed from from 339 x 334 km to 333 x 341 km to set up the ground track. Location is be 5-6 degrees to the east of the one used for the Shenzhou 8 and 9 missions. It allows for the use of an R-bar approach from below rather than the previous missions' approach from behind.

2013 May 24
Shenzhou 10 - Ready to Fly
Jiuquan SC, China
Final task - filling of propellant, gas-pressure and air tanks was started May 19 and finished today.

2013 Jun 3
Shenzhou 10 - Rolled Out to Launch Pad
Jiuquan SC
Shenzhou 10 moved to launch pad.

2013 Jun 6
Tiangong 1 - Orbit Adjustment
Manoeuvre in preparation for the Shenzhou 10 mission. Orbit lowered by 1 km.

2013 Jun 8
Shenzhou 10 - Launch Date Confirmed
NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen) issued for June 11 - covering no-fly zones down the launch range and for the emergency landing zone at the end of the first orbit:

Effectively - confirmation of the launch date.

2013 Jun 11
Shenzhou 10 Launch
CZ-2FT1, Jiuquan SC
Successful launch of piloted mission with crew Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang, Wang Yaping (female). Aimed at docking with Tiangong 1. Mission set to run for fifteen days.

Launch sequence UTC:
09:37:59 - Ignition
09:38:03 - liftoff
09:40 - launch escape tower jettison
09:40 - first stage boosters and core separation, stage 2 ignition
09:41 - fairing jettison
09:45 - CZ-2F stage 2 shutdown
09:47:34 - separation from launch vehicle
09:49 - solar panels open
09:50 - Tianlian comms aerial deploy

Shenzhou entered orbit about 10,000 kilometres behind Tiangong 1.

Date was the third launch opportunity in a seven-day-long window. Earlier dates were probably ruled out because Chinese president Xi Jinping was in California and was scheduled to be at Jiuquan for the launch. Twitter feed: on Facebook:

Frequencies (all on continuous transmission:
2208.720 MHz (Shenzhou)
2224.065 MHz (Shenzhou)
2232.215 MHz (Tiangong)
2250.740 MHz (Tiangong)

Background notes:

Launch campaign:

Orbit notes:

NORAD: 2013-029A/39179

2013 Jun 13
Shenzhou 10 Docking
Tiangong 1
Shenzhou 10 began an automatic approach to Tiangong 1 at 02:48 UTC. Docking was followed by closure of latches between the two vehicles at 05:18 UTC. Docking was one minute later than the pre-launch estimate.

The crew went aboard Tiangong 1 about three hours later, opening hatches at 08:17 UTC.

2013 Jun 20
Tiangong 1 - Space Lesson
on orbit
Crew of Tiangong 1 provided a lesson for Chinese schools/colleges on the science of microgravity.

Video with English commentary from CCTV:


2013 Jun 23
Shenzhou 10 - Undocking from Tiangong 1
on orbit
Shenzhou 10 undocked from Tiangong 1, carrying Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping, in order to undertake a manually-controlled test approach and docking.

2013 Jun 23
Shenzhou 10 - Manual Re-docking with Tiangong 1
on orbit
Culmination of test. At 01:50 UTC, Nie Hasheng was given the go ahead and initiated a manually controlled approach at 01:52 UTC from a position 140 metres in front of Tiangong. Docking at 02:00 was followed by the two vehicles being locked together at 02:07 UTC.

The crew then re-entered Tiangong 1 at 05:09 UTC.

2013 Jun 24
Shenzhou 10 Undocking
on orbit
Undocking from Tiangong 1 - carrying Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping. Tiangong was above southern Africa and in view of the Swakopmund tracking station. Hatch closure occurred at 21:07 UTC when Tiangong 1 was above the Santiago, Chile tracking station.

Time was about 22 minutes earlier than the timeline of the Shenzhou 8 and 9 missions. Followed by a fly-round of Tiangong 1 where both spacecraft manoeuvred to simulate varying approach/docking orientations including R-bar (approach from below). Shenzhou then reportedly re-docked briefly with Tiangong after approaching along the orbit from behind. It is unlikely that the docking ring was retracted to seal the interface.

Tiangong 1 will continue in orbit but no more visits are planned. It will ultimately make a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean.

2013 Jun 25
Tiangong 1 Orbit Raised
First element of a two-part manoeuvre, data:

2013 Jun 25
Shenzhou 10 Retro-fire
Other events:
23:19 - Orbital Module separation
23:43 - Service Module jettison (estimated from video, excludes any transmission delay)
23:55 - Parachute opening (estimated from video, excludes any transmission delay)

Detailed notes, maps and pre-event time estimates:

NOTE - due to transmission delays (up to four minutes), other sources of information may be quoting incorrect times for these events.

2013 Jun 26
Tiangong 1 Orbit Raised
Second element of a two-part manoeuvre, data:

2013 Jun 26
Shenzhou 10 Landing
Precise time according to camera internal clock 00:07:03, in line with pre-event estimate of 00:07 UTC:

2013 Jun 28
Shenzhou 10 Arrives Home
Descent module arrives at the factory for unloading of experimental materials and post-flight inspection.

Page date: 2012 Jun 30

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