As named by Jiang Zemin
ShenZhou means "Vessel of the Gods" or "Divine Vessel".
The goal of ShenZhou is to send yuhangyuans into orbit in a Chinese craft with a strong resemblance to the Soviet Soyuz craft.
The ShenZhou system consists of an orbital module, a descent module, and a service module. The orbital module stays in orbit after and has its own propulsion and guidance mechanisms. It could conceivably be used as a component of future space stations. The service module detaches from the descent module just before reentry and is burned up in the atmosphere. The orbital modules are also destroyed when they do reenter.
The ShenZhou flights are restricted to autumn and winter (northern hemisphere) because 3 of the 4 required tracking vessels are located in the southern hemisphere. Sea conditions are best during the southern spring and summer.
Food available to ShenZhou crew members includes (but is not limited to):
- Canned fish
- Canned meat
- Curry and prawns
- Dried fruits (strawberries, apples, peaches, bananas)
- Orange juice
- Tea (red, green, iced)