Nie Haisheng
Colonel Niè Hǎishèng (born October 13, 1964) is a Chinese
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 military pilot and CNSA
China National Space Administration
The China National Space Administration is the national space agency of the People's Republic of China responsible for the national space program. It is responsible for planning and development of space activities...

An astronaut or cosmonaut is a person trained by a human spaceflight program to command, pilot, or serve as a crew member of a spacecraft....


Military career

Nie was born in Yangdang town of Zaoyang
Zaoyang is a city in northern Hubei province, People's Republic of China, near the border with Henan province. Administratively, it is a county-level city under the administration of Xiangyang.-History:...

, Hubei
' Hupeh) is a province in Central China. The name of the province means "north of the lake", referring to its position north of Lake Dongting...

 Province. After graduating from high school he joined the People's Liberation Army Air Force
People's Liberation Army Air Force
The People's Liberation Army Air Force is the aviation branch of the People's Liberation Army, the military of the People's Republic of China...

 and became a fighter
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

An aviator is a person who flies an aircraft. The first recorded use of the term was in 1887, as a variation of 'aviation', from the Latin avis , coined in 1863 by G. de la Landelle in Aviation Ou Navigation Aérienne...

. During his training at the PLAAF's No. 7 Flying School he was:
  • Commander of a flight squadron
  • Deputy Commander of a group
  • Master navigator

Nie graduated in 1987 and continued his career in the PLAAF. He has reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel
Lieutenant colonel
Lieutenant colonel is a rank of commissioned officer in the armies and most marine forces and some air forces of the world, typically ranking above a major and below a colonel. The rank of lieutenant colonel is often shortened to simply "colonel" in conversation and in unofficial correspondence...


On 12 June 1989 while flying at 13,000 feet (4000 m) his plane suffered an explosion and he lost his engine. The plane began to spin to the ground and the cabin began to heat up. Trying to regain control he waited until the plane was 1300 to 1700 feet (400 to 500 meters) before choosing to eject
Ejector seat
In aircraft, an ejection seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. In most designs, the seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it. The concept of an eject-able escape capsule has also...

. For his handling of the situation he was honored with third-class merit.

CNSA career

In 1998, he was selected for the Chinese spaceflight program and was one of three candidates who were part of the final group to train for the Shenzhou 5
Shenzhou 5
Shenzhou 5  — was the first human spaceflight mission of the People's Republic of China , launched on October 15, 2003. The Shenzhou spacecraft was launched on a Long March 2F launch vehicle. There had been four previous flights of unmanned Shenzhou missions since 1999...

flight, China's first manned spaceflight. Yáng Lìwěi
Yang Liwei
Yáng Lìwěi is a Chinese major general and military pilot and a CNSA astronaut. He was the first man sent into space by the Chinese space program and his mission, Shenzhou 5, made China the third country to independently send people into space.-Background:...

 was picked for the flight, with Zhai Zhigang
Zhai Zhigang
Zhai Zhigang is an officer in the People's Liberation Army Air Force and a CNSA astronaut. During the Shenzhou 7 mission in 2008, he became the first Chinese citizen to carry out a spacewalk.-Early career:...

 ranked second ahead of Niè Hǎishèng.

Nie went into orbit, along with Fèi Jùnlóng
Fei Junlong
Colonel Fei Junlong is a Chinese military pilot and an astronaut. He flew on the second manned spaceflight of the Shenzhou program....

 (commander), as flight engineer of the Shenzhou 6
Shenzhou 6
Shenzhou 6 was the second human spaceflight of the People's Republic of China, launched on October 12, 2005 on a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. The Shenzhou spacecraft carried a crew of Fèi Jùnlóng and Niè Hǎishèng for five days in low Earth orbit...

flight on October 12, 2005. The mission lasted just under five days.


He is married to Niè Jiélín (Simplified Chinese: 聂捷琳) and has a daughter born in 1994. During the Shenzhou 6 mission he celebrated his 41st birthday in space

The asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

 9517 Niehaisheng
9517 Niehaisheng
9517 Niehaisheng is a main-belt asteroid discovered on Nov. 3 1977 by the Purple Mountain Observatory at Nanjing, China. It is named after the Chinese astronaut Nie Haisheng, who and Fei Junlong were the crew of Shenzhou 6 launched on Oct. 12 2005 and made a series of scientific experiments in...

 was named after him.

External links

  • Niè Hǎishèng at the Encyclopedia Astronautica
    Encyclopedia Astronautica
    The Encyclopedia Astronautica is a reference web site on space travel. A comprehensive catalog of vehicles, technology, astronauts, and flights, it includes information from most countries that have had an active rocket research program, from Robert Goddard to the NASA Space shuttle to the Soviet...

    . Accessed 22 July 2005.
  • Spacefacts biography of Nie Haisheng
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