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神舟 is the name of the Chinese spacecraft "Shenzhou." The name means "divine craft" or "saintly vessel."
The name is a play on words in Chinese, as there is an alternate name for China that is pronounced "Shenzhou" but means "Divine land" or "Land of the Gods" (just the second character is different).
The first flight of a Shenzhou spacecraft was in 1999, with more missions following. The next is planned for 2008, and will include China's first "spacewalk." The tenth Shenzhou mission is planned for 2015, when China has promised its people that a Chinese astronaut will walk on the moon (or at least orbit the moon - there are two ways to interpret the announcement made in 2005).
For those of you concerned, this word is pronounced more like "Shen Joe" (with a slightly soft "J") than the Romanization would suggest.
2016 Update: I wrote the above in 2006. Imagine that, 10 years later, none of the promises came true.
Below are some entries from our dictionary that may match your shenzhou spacecraft search...
If shown, 2nd row is Simp. Chinese
|Simple Dictionary Definition|
| shén zhōu / shen2 zhou1
Shenzhou (spacecraft); Hasee (computer manufacturer)
| shén zhōu hào fēi chuán / shen2 zhou1 hao4 fei1 chuan2
shen chou hao fei ch`uan / shen chou hao fei chuan
The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|Shenzhou Spacecraft||神舟||shén zhōu|
Successful Chinese Character and Japanese Kanji calligraphy searches within the last few hours...
All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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