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Launches and Orbital Operations


Tyneside, UK
2021 Oct 17
Sunday, Day 290

Maintained by:






Mission Events 2021:




























Mission Events 2020:



Flashback:








Timelines:




Shenzhou 12 Landing

2021-076 SMA


News

When Shenzhou 12 launched to Tianhe 2021 June 17, the official announcement said that the mission would last for three months. True to its word, on September 15, China issued a navigation warning for an area directly below the Tianhe ground track effective for a period on September 17 when Tianhe would be passing overhead.


Mission Events - Estimated from Nav Warning

Based on earlier missions, the plot shows where specific events relating to the return to Earth are anticipated to occur. Approximate times (UTC) are as below but are dependent on neither the Tianhe space station nor Shenzhou 12 undertaking any orbital manoeuvres on September 16 or 17.

04:40 - Orbital Module Separation
04:41 - Retro-Fire
05:03 - Descent Module Separation & Re-entry
05:07 - End of Re-entry Blackout
05:16 - Parachute Deploy
05:30 - Landing


Actual Events

After undocking from the forward-facing port of Tianhe Sptember 16 at 00:56 UTC, Shenzhou conducted a flight around the space station culminating in an approach to the downward-facing docking port at 01:38 UTC. It was done to simulate the approach to be taken by Shenzhou 13.

Shenzhou then departed and raised its orbit by 7 kilometres. It had the effect of delaying re-entry events by about three minutes compared with the estimates above.

Based on Chinese news releases, the true timetable was:
04:43 - Orbital Module Separation
04:44 (estimated) - Retro-Fire
05:06 (estimated) - Descent Module Separation & Re-entry
05:10 (estimated) - End of Re-entry Blackout
05:20 - Parachute Deploy
05:34 - Landing

Estimated times are +/- 1 minute.


Navigation Warning - Issued Sep 15, 06:15 UTC

A2358/21 NOTAMN
Q) ZLHW/QRTCA/IV/BO/W/000/999/4112N10036E153
A) ZLHW B) 2109170514 C) 2109170544
E) A TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA ESTABLISHED IN CHINESE TERRITORY BOUNDED BY:
N4212E09730-N4212E10342-N4012E10342-N4012E09730 BACK TO START.
ALL ACFT ARE FORBIDDEN TO FLY INTO THE TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA.
VERTICAL LIMITS:GND-UNL.
F) GND G) UNL


Page Date - 2021 Sep 15
Updated with actual times - 2021 Sep 17

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