Quake Shocks Sichuan
Nation demonstrates progress in dealing with severe disaster
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Top Story
Top Story
UPDATED: October 10, 2011 NO. 41 OCTOBER 13, 2011
A Foothold in Space

With the successful launch of Tiangong-1 (Heavenly Palace -1) unmanned module on September 29, China took a significant step forward in realizing its ambitions in space.

China's manned space program consists of three steps. The first step, to send an astronaut into space, was achieved in 2003. The second step, to realize multi-person space flight for extended periods of time, has been fulfilled twice. During China's third manned space flight in 2008, Chinese astronauts walked in space.

Tiangong-1, whose mission has a projected life expectancy of two years, is aimed at completing tasks resulting from the second step, and laying the foundation for the third step's intention of forming a permanent space station by 2020.

According to space scientists, Tiangong-1 will serve as a target spacecraft for rendezvous and docking experiments, and an unmanned Shenzhou 8 spacecraft will be launched later this year to dock with it. If successful, China will become the third country in the world to have proprietary rendezvous and docking technology, after the United States and Russia.

Since its manned space program started in 1992, China has made a series of major breakthroughs. Its progress in other hi-tech programs carried out in sequence in the past decades is also evident. This year alone, the country's first aircraft carrier carried out sea trials, its first manned deep-sea submersible reached a record depth of 5,188 meters in the Pacific Ocean, and its lunar probe Chang'e-2 entered an orbit around the second Lagrange Point (L2) about 1.5 million km from the Earth.

These achievements have been attained by developed Western countries before China. But for China, a late starter in the application of modern science and technology, they are important landmarks in its modernization process. They have not only boosted the country's research and development strength but also prepared China to make a greater contribution to the international community.

Take China's planned space station, for example. Rapidly developing China needs a space station to conduct studies on microgravity, astronomy and space radiation biology. More importantly, the planned Chinese facility is very likely to become mankind's only foothold in space, as the International Space Station will terminate operations in 2020.

"China's space station will be an open platform. The Chinese people will be more than happy to conduct scientific experiments with foreign scientists and astronauts," said Zhang Jianqi, former deputy chief of China's Manned Space Program.

This is the strong commitment of China to the world.

Top Story
-Too Much Money?
-Special Coverage: Economic Shift Underway
-Quake Shocks Sichuan
-Special Coverage: 7.0-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Sichuan
-A New Crop of Farmers
Related Stories
-A New Start
-Venturing Further Into Space
-Revving Up the Sci-Tech Engine
-Moon Mission Moving Forward
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved