Shenzhou 16
Launch of Shenzhou 16 on a Long March 2F
Mission typeTiangong space station crew transport
OperatorChina Manned Space Agency
COSPAR ID2023-077A Edit this at Wikidata
SATCAT no.56761Edit this on Wikidata
Mission duration153 days, 22 hours and 41 minutes
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft typeShenzhou
ManufacturerChina Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation
Crew size3
MembersJing Haipeng
Zhu Yangzhu
Gui Haichao
EVA duration7 hours 55 minutes
Start of mission
Launch date30 May 2023, 01:31 UTC
RocketLong March 2F
Launch siteJiuquan, LA-4/SLS
ContractorChina Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology
End of mission
Landing date31 October 2023, 00:12 UTC
Landing siteInner Mongolia, China
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Docking with Tiangong space station
Docking portTianhe nadir
Docking date30 May 2023, 08:29 UTC
Undocking date30 October 2023, 12:37 UTC
Time docked153 days, 4 hours and 8 minutes

Gui Haichao, Jing Haipeng and Zhu Yangzhu 

Shenzhou 16 (Chinese: 神舟十六号; pinyin: Shénzhōu Shíliù-hào; lit. 'Divine Boat Number 16') was a Chinese spaceflight to the Tiangong space station, launched on 30 May 2023. It carried two People's Liberation Army Astronaut Corps (PLAAC) taikonauts and a payload specialist from Beihang University on board a Shenzhou spacecraft. The mission was the eleventh crewed Chinese spaceflight and the sixteenth flight overall of the Shenzhou program.


Shenzhou 16 was the fifth spaceflight to the Tiangong space station, with a mission duration of approximately five months.

The spacecraft completed construction and testing in December 2022, and prior to launch was maintained in a state of near-readiness if needed as a lifeboat for the Shenzhou 15 crew.[1]


The flight launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on 30 May 2023 at 9:31 AM China Standard Time (01:31 UTC), following the launch of the Tianzhou 6 cargo spacecraft and near the end of the Shenzhou 15 mission.[2] Just under 7 hours after launch, the spacecraft docked with the Tianhe core module's nadir docking port.

Upon entering the station, the crew were greeted by and performed a handover ceremony with the crew of Shenzhou 15, with whom they would share a four-day mission overlap prior to the previous crew's departure on June 3.[3][4]


On 20 July 2023, the first scheduled spacewalk of Shenzhou 16 was carried out by Jing Haipeng and Zhu Yangzhu through the airlock of the Wentian lab module (Zhu Yangzhu being the first Chinese flight engineer to perform a spacewalk), with Gui Haichao assisting the pair from inside the Tianhe core module. The crew completed a variety of tasks, including the installation and lifting of the support frame for a panoramic camera outside Tiangong's Tianhe core module and unlocking and lifting two panoramic cameras outside the Mengtian experiment module. The spacewalk lasted for 7 hours and 55 minutes, beating the previous EVA duration record of 7 hours and 6 minutes on Shenzhou 15.[5]


Shenzhou 16 returned to Earth on October 30, 2023, landing at the Dongfeng landing site in the Gobi Desert in Inner Mongolia. Footage of the landing showed an apparent hole in the descent parachute and the capsule tumbling on impact, but the crew was unharmed.[6]


Position Crew member
Commander China Jing Haipeng, PLAAC CMSA
Fourth spaceflight
Flight engineer China Zhu Yangzhu, PLAAC CMSA
First spaceflight
Payload specialist China Gui Haichao, CMSA
First spaceflight

Shenzhou 16 marked Commander Jing Haipeng's fourth trip to space, a new record for a Chinese taikonaut. Payload specialist Gui Haichao, a professor at Beihang University, became the first Chinese civilian in space.[7] Gui Haichao and Zhu Yangzhu were also the first members of Chinese Group 3 to fly to space.

See also


  1. ^ Shenzhou-16 spacecraft put on standby for emergency missions, retrieved 2022-12-18
  2. ^ "2023年度载人航天任务基本情况" [Basic Situation of Manned Space Missions in 2023]. CMSA (in Chinese). 15 February 2023. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  3. ^ "China set to launch Shenzhou-15 spacecraft to its space station on Tuesday". Reuters. 2022-11-28. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  4. ^ "Watch China's Shenzhou 16 astronauts enter Tiangong space station (Video)". 30 May 2023.
  5. ^ "China's Shenzhou 16 astronauts complete 1st spacewalk (video)". Space. Retrieved 26 July 2023.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Update: China unveils Shenzhou-16 crew for space station mission-Xinhua".