Shenzhou 6 Orbit Module
Date and Time (HKT) : 28.10.2005 (18:31 HKT)
Location  : Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Will Shenzhou be visible in Hong Kong?

In its 5-day journey, Shenzhou VI will pass over many places on the Earth, including Hong Kong. However, it has to be over our sky during dusk or dawn for us to see it by the sunlight it reflected. According to the preliminary orbital parameter, no such chance will happen throughout the 5-day mission. Therefore, the whole Shenzhou VI spacecraft cannot be seen in Hong Kong.

On the other hand, as the Orbit Module will stay in orbit for a few months, the opportunity of sighting will be much larger.

Date Mag Starts Max. Altitude Ends
Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az. Time Alt. Az.
13 Jan 6.1 05:41:36 3.9 197 05:45:06 18.4 136.2 05:49:36 0 69.7
15 Jan 4.1 06:30:53 11.2 280.2 06:32:53 19.4 326.8 06:37:27 0 35.4
16 Jan 5.7 05:23:18 13.1 43.8 05:25:44 0 48.2 05:25:44 0 48.2
Please be reminded that the orbit of Shenzhou VI will be adjusted from time to time. You are advised to check the lastest observing information.


Shenzhou 6 Mission Sequence
5:38  Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng got out of the re-entry capsule normally.
4:33  Shenzhou 6 re-entry capsule landed safely. The landing location differed from the designated location by less than 1 km. Shenzhou 6 travelled for a total period of 115 hours and 32 minutes. It completed 77 revolutions and traversed 325 million kilometres.
4:20  The drogue chute was released. The main parachute opened.
4:19  The main parachute cover was released.
4:13 The re-entry capsule entered the communication blackout zone.
4:07 Service module separated with the re-entry capsule.
3:45 Shenzhou 6 started to re-entry.
2005.10.17 3:44 The orbital module separated with the re-entry capsule. The orbital module would remain in the orbit for 6 months.
2005.10.16 21:57  Shenzhou 6 prepared for re-entry.
2005.10.15 18:05  Images of solar panel were transmitted back to Earth.
16:30  Fei Junlong performed 4 forward somersaults successively inside the capsule in 3 minutes.
2005.10.14 05:56 Shenzhou 6 underwent its first orbit maintenance operation to restore the vessel to its original trajectory by firing its engine for 6.5 seconds in its 30th revolution around the Earth.
10:59 Shunzhou 6 passed over Hong Kong and Macau. However, due to the bright sky in daytime, it could not be seen on the ground.
2005.10.13 06:10 As the spacecraft started its 15th revolution around the Earth, the astronauts took their breakfast.
19:59 Fei Junlong returned to re-entry capsule. Nie Haisheng entered the orbital module.
18:30 Nie Haisheng changed to working suit in the re-entry capsule.
17:34 Fei Junlong took off his pressurized spacesuit in the orbital module and changed to working suit.
17:31 Fei Junlong entered the orbital module of Shenzhou 6.
15:54 Orbit adjustment began. The engine operated for 63 seconds. The elliptical orbit was changed to a near circular orbit.
15:30 In its 5th revolution around the Earth, Shenzhou 6 prepared for orbit adjustment.
583s after ignition Shenzhou spacecraft separated with the rocket at an altitude of about 200 km. Shenzhou 6 entered the orbit. With a speed of 7.9 metres per second, it completed one revolution around the Earth in 90 minutes.
544s after ignition Handan rescue station had ended its operation.
449s after ignition Yulin rescue station had ended its operation.
370s after ignition Yinchuan rescue station had ended its operation.
260s after ignition  The ascent stage rescue backup landing site near Jiuquan is no longer required for operation.
200s after ignition  The fairing separated. The fairing offered heat and aerodynamic protection for the spacecraft during the initial phase and was no longer required as the second stage had left the dense atmosphere.
159s after ignition  Separation of the first stage with the second stage. The first stage fell off after its fuel burnt out. The rocket had passed the stratosphere and mesosphere and was leaving the atmosphere.
136s after ignition  Separation of the boosters.
120s after ignition  The escape tower was released as the first separation manoeuvre. The rocket travelled at a speed of 1300 metres per second, or 4 times the speed of sound.
12s after ignition  Rocket turned eastwards, slightly towards south, with an altitude of 211 metres.
4s after ignition  Shenzhou 6 liftoff.
2005.10.12 09:00am The Long March 2F rocket carrying Shenzhou 6 spacecraft was ignited. The entire CZ-2F rocket measured 58.3 metres in height and had a liftoff weight of 480 tonnes. It consisted of 4 liquid propellant boosters, the first stage, second stage, fairing and escape tower.


Major Differences of Shenzhou V and VI Missions
@ Shenzhou VI Shenzhou V
Launch Date 12th October 2005 15th October 2003
No. of astronauts 2 ( Fei Jun-long, Nie Hai-sheng ) 1 ( Yang Li-wei )
Length of mission 115 hours 32 minutes  21 hours
Working and living perimeters of astronauts Reentry and orbital modules of the Shenzhou spacecraft Reentry module only
Major objectives Studying the living and working of astronauts in space, testing of the spacecraft's systems and conducting space experiments  Testing of the manned space system
Digestive Elimination Space toilet/ diaper diaper