Shenzhou 11
Tiangong 2 - Shenzhou 11 paper model.png
Mockup of Shenzhou 11 spacecraft (right) docking with the Tiangong-2 (left)
OperatorChina National Space Administration (CNSA)
COSPAR ID2016-061A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.41812Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration33 days
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeShenzhou
Crew size2
MembersJing Haipeng
Chen Dong
Start of mission
Launch date16 October 2016, 23:30 UTC
RocketLong March 2F
Launch siteJiuquan LA-4/SLS
End of mission
Landing date18 November 2016, 05:59 UTC
Landing siteInner Mongolia
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Docking with Tiangong-2
Docking date18 October 2016, 17:24 UTC
Undocking date14 November 2016, 4:41 UTC
Shenzhou 11 Crew Montage.jpg

(L-R) Haipeng and Dong 

Shenzhou 11 was a crewed spaceflight of the Shenzhou program of China, launched on 17 October 2016 (16 October UTC) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center.[1] It was China's sixth crewed space mission, at 33 days,[2] it was the longest until the follow up Shenzhou 12 mission which lasted 3 months. Two days after launch, it docked with the Tiangong-2 space laboratory, which had been launched on 15 September 2016.[1][3][4] Shenzhou 11 was the 1st and only expedition and mission to Tiangong-2 in this portion of the Tiangong program.


The crew consisted of two taikonauts.[1][5] Commander Jing celebrated his 50th birthday while in orbit.[6]

Position Crew member
Commander Jing Haipeng
Third spaceflight
Operator Chen Dong
First spaceflight

The mission selected two crew instead of three to extend supplies to increase mission length for their long duration stay.[7]


The Shenzhou 11 launched at 07:30 on 17 October 2016 local time (23:30 UTC on 16 October) from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center using a Long March 2F launch rocket.[1]

The mission's main objective was to rendezvous and dock with the Tiangong-2 space laboratory and gain experience from a 30-day residence,[5] and to test its life-support systems.[1]

In the two days after the launch, it changed its orbit five times to arrive 52 kilometres behind the Tiangong-2 space lab. It autonomously rendezvoused and docked with Tiangong-2 at 3:24 p.m. EDT on 18 October 2016, while both spacecraft were at an altitude of 393 km (244 mi).[4][8]

The crew landed successfully after the 33-day mission on 18 November 2016. The reentry module of the Shenzhou 11 spacecraft landed in Dorbod Banner, Inner Mongolia around 2:15 p.m. (China time) after undocking from the space lab on 17 November.[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e "China's Shenzhou 11 blasts off on space station mission". BBC News. 17 October 2016. Retrieved 17 October 2016.
  2. ^ Perlez, Jane (16 October 2016). "China Astronauts to Attempt Nation's Longest Space Mission". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  3. ^ de Selding, Peter B. (20 June 2016). "China prepares assembly of its space station, invites collaboration through U.N." SpaceNews. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b Wall, Mike (19 October 2016). "Chinese Astronauts Dock with Tiangong-2 Space Lab". Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b Huang, Jin (8 March 2016). "Why will Shenzhou-11 carry only two astronauts to space?". People's Daily. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  6. ^ "China launches longest manned space mission". Reuters. 16 October 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  7. ^ Clark, Michael (19 October 2016). "Shenzhou 11 and Tiangong 2". Space Pod. TMRO. Retrieved 25 June 2021 – via YouTube.
  8. ^ "China's Shenzhou-11 successfully docks with Tiangong-2 spacelab". CCTV America. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  9. ^ Griffiths, James (18 November 2016). "Shenzhou-11 astronauts return home after China's longest-ever space mission". CNN. Retrieved 18 November 2016.