Small satellite with shenzhou7(ahead).JPG
Small satellite with shenzhou 7 (model)
Mission typeSpacecraft imaging
COSPAR ID2008-047G
SATCAT no.33392Edit this on Wikidata
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass40 kilograms (88 lb)
Start of mission
Launch date25 September 2008, 13:10 (2008-09-25UTC13:10Z) UTC
RocketChang Zheng 2F
Launch siteJiuquan LA-4/SLS-1
Deployed fromShenzhou 7
Deployment date27 September 2008, 11:27 UTC
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeLow Earth
Inclination42.4 degrees

Banxing or BX-1 (Chinese: 伴星; lit. 'Companion Satellite'),[1] is a small Chinese technology development satellite which was deployed from the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft at 11:27 GMT on 27 September 2008.[1] Prior to deployment, the satellite was mounted on top of the Shenzhou 7 orbital module.


Banxing was used to relay images of the Shenzhou 7 spacecraft.[2] Weighing some 40 kilograms, and containing two cameras and communication equipment, it was maneuvered using an ammonia gas-based propulsion system.[3] Following the re-entry of Shenzhou 7, Banxing remained in orbit as part of a formation-flying experiment with the discarded Shenzhou orbital module.[4]

A few hours after Banxing was launched it and the Shenzhou 7 orbital module passed unusually close to the International Space Station. This provoked some speculation that the experiment was intended to test military anti-satellite interception technology.[3]

See also


  1. ^ a b Dr. Jonathan McDowell (2008-10-12). "Issue 601". Jonathan's Space Report. Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2008-10-22.
  2. ^ Wade, Mark. "Shenzhou 7". Encyclopedia Astronautica. Archived from the original on 28 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  3. ^ a b Fisher, JR, Richard D (2008-10-31). "China's Close Call". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 3 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  4. ^ Covault, Craig (2008-10-10). "Subsat Orbiting Empty Module". Aviation Week. Retrieved 2008-10-21.