Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Chinese space program

Chinese space program

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Chinese space program'
Start a new discussion about 'Chinese space program'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia

The space program of the People's Republic of China is directed by the China National Space Administration
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...

 (CNSA). Its technological roots can be traced back to the late 1950s, when the People's Republic
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...

 began a rudimentary ballistic missile program in response to perceived American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 (and, later, Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

) threats. However, the first Chinese crewed flight program only began in earnest several decades later, when an accelerated program of technological development culminated in Yang Liwei
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:...

's successful 2003 flight aboard 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...

. This achievement made China the third country to independently send humans into space. Future plans include a permanent space station and crewed expeditions to the Moon and Mars.

History and recent developments


During the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship period


After the United States threatened to use nuclear weapons during the Korean War, Chairman Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 decided that only a nuclear deterrent of its own would guarantee the security of the newly founded PRC. Additionally, he wanted China to gain status among the world's powers that, as he felt, did not respect him, and instead dealt only with the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (present-day Taiwan) as "China". Thus, Mao announced his decision to develop China's own strategic weapons, including nuclear bombs and associated missiles for the warheads, during a Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 (CPC) Central Committee meeting held on January 15, 1955. The Chinese nuclear weapons program was designated by the codename of "02".
The Fifth Academy of the National Defense Ministry
Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China
The Ministry of National Defense of the People's Republic of China is a ministry under the State Council. It is headed by the Minister of National Defense. The MND was set up according to a decision adopted by the 1st Session of the 1st National People's Congress in 1954...

  was founded on October 8, 1956, with Qian Xueshen
Tsien Hsue-shen
Qian Xuesen was a scientist who made important contributions to the missile and space programs of both the United States and People's Republic of China. Historical documents in the U. S. commonly refer to him with the earlier family-name last spelling, Hsue-Shen Tsien or H.S...

, who had just been deported from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 after being accused of being a communist during the red scare, as director. The Academy started the development of the first ballistic missile program, adopted on March 1, 1956 and known as the first Twelve-Year-Plan for Chinese aerospace.

After the launch of mankind's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1
Sputnik 1
Sputnik 1 ) was the first artificial satellite to be put into Earth's orbit. It was launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit by the Soviet Union on 4 October 1957. The unanticipated announcement of Sputnik 1s success precipitated the Sputnik crisis in the United States and ignited the Space...

 by the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 on October 4, 1957, Mao decided during the National Congress of the CCP on May 17, 1958 to make China an equal with the superpowers (“”), by adopting Project 581 with the objective of placing a satellite in orbit by 1959 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the PRC's founding.
This goal would be achieved in three phases: developing sounding rockets first, then launching small satellites and in the final phase, large satellites.

The construction of China's first missile test base, code-named Base 20
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is a People's Republic of China space vehicle launch facility .The facility is part of Dongfeng Aerospace City , and is located in the Gobi desert, Ejin Banner , Alxa League , Inner Mongolia, situated about 1,600 km from Beijing.- History :It was founded in 1958,...

 , started in April 1958 and it entered service on October 20 of the same year.

During the cordial Sino-Soviet relations of the 1950s, the USSR engaged in a cooperative technology transfer program with the PRC under which they trained Chinese students and provided the fledgling program with a sample R-2
R-2 (missile)
The R-2 rocket was developed based on R-1 design. This was an improved version of the German V-2 rocket manufactured by the Soviet Union....

 rocket.

The first Chinese missile was built in October 1958 as a reverse-engineered copy of the Soviet R-2 short-range ballistic missile
Short-range ballistic missile
A short-range ballistic missile is a ballistic missile with a range of about 1,000 km or less. They are usually capable of carrying nuclear weapons. In potential regional conflicts, these missiles would be used because of the short distances between some countries and their relative low cost...

 (SRBM), itself an upgraded version of a German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 V-2 rocket
V-2 rocket
The V-2 rocket , technical name Aggregat-4 , was a ballistic missile that was developed at the beginning of the Second World War in Germany, specifically targeted at London and later Antwerp. The liquid-propellant rocket was the world's first long-range combat-ballistic missile and first known...

. Its range was 590 km, weighing 20.5 tons and propelled with liquid oxygen and alcohol.

China's first ever T-7
T-7 (rocket)
T-7 is the name of China's first sounding rocket. The T-7 which was first launch on 13 September 1960 can carry a payload of 25 kg in a height of 58 kilometres. The T-7 has a length of 8 metres, a launch weight of 1138 kg and a diameter of 45 centimetres....

 sounding rocket was successfully launched from the Nanhui launch site on February 19, 1960.

China started to develop medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBM) in July 1960, with an increased range double that of the R-2.

But when Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

 was denounced as revisionist
Revisionism (Marxism)
Within the Marxist movement, the word revisionism is used to refer to various ideas, principles and theories that are based on a significant revision of fundamental Marxist premises. The term is most often used by those Marxists who believe that such revisions are unwarranted and represent a...

, with Mao asserting that there had been a counter-revolution in the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and that capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 had been restored, the friendly relationship between the two countries turned to confrontation. As a consequence, all Soviet technological assistance was abruptly withdrawn after the 1960 Sino-Soviet split
Sino-Soviet split
In political science, the term Sino–Soviet split denotes the worsening of political and ideologic relations between the People's Republic of China and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the Cold War...

.

After the Sino-Soviet split


Only 17 days after the last Soviet expert had left China, the first Soviet built R-2 rocket fueled with Chinese-made propellant was launched with success on September 10, 1960.

The first successful launch of a Chinese 1059 SRBM missile copy of the R-2 was conducted only two months later on November 5, 1960. The missile was also designated DF-1.

The first DF-2 MRBM was tested on March 21, 1962, but failed.

With the escalation of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, Mao decided in December 1963 that China should develop missile defence system capacity. During a conference held on February 2, 1964, directive 640 (640指示)is adopted (later known as Project 640.

Development eventually continued with the redesigned DF-2A MRBM which was successfully tested on June 29, 1964. It would enter service by the end of 1966.

The first successful launch and recovery of a T-7A(S1) sounding rocket carrying a biological experiment (transporting eight white mice) was on July 19, 1964 from Base 603
Base 603
Guangde Rocket Launch Site also known as Base 603 is a suborbital launch site that was operated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences located in Shijiedu , Shijie Town , Guangde County, Xuancheng Prefecture, Anhui province on the Chinese east coast...

(安徽广德誓节渡中国科学院六○三基地.

The first successful Chinese atomic bomb, code-named 596
596 (nuclear test)
596 is the codename of the People's Republic of China's first nuclear weapons test, detonated on October 16, 1964 at the Lop Nur test site. It was a uranium-235 implosion fission device and had a yield of 22 kilotons...

, was detonated on October 16, 1964.

China started to develop the DF-5
DF-5
The Dongfeng 5[Wǔ] or DF-5 is a 3 stage Chinese ICBM. It has a length 32.6 m and a diameter of 3.35 m. It weighs in at 183,000 kilograms and it has an estimated range of 12,000 to 15,000 kilometers. The DF-5 had its first flight in 1971 and was in operational service 10 years later...

 intercontinental ballistic missile
Intercontinental ballistic missile
An intercontinental ballistic missile is a ballistic missile with a long range typically designed for nuclear weapons delivery...

 (ICBM) program in August 1965. It was designed to carry a single nuclear warhead and has a maximum range of 12000 km. In November 1966, it was decided to build a second ballistic missile test site, the Northern Missile Test Site (华北导弹试验场)) in Shanxi Province, farther away from China's northern border.

On October 27, 1966, a nuclear-tipped DF-2A missile was launched from Jiuquan and the 20 kilotons yield nuclear warhead exploded at the height of 569 meters over the target in Lop Nor or Base 21 situated 894 km away.

On December 26, 1966, China tested its first indigenously developed DF-3 intermediate-range ballistic missile
Intermediate-range ballistic missile
An intermediate-range ballistic missile is a ballistic missile with a range of 3,000–5,500 km , between a medium-range ballistic missile and an intercontinental ballistic missile...

 (IRBM) with success. The DF-3 was a single-stage, single-warhead missile with a maximum range of 2500 km. The development of the DF-4 IRBM began in 1967 in parallel with the single-stage DF-3.

In March 1967, development started on the JL-1
JL-1
The Julang-1, also known as the JL-1 and in US nomenclature as the CSS-N-3, is China's first submarine launched nuclear ballistic missile.-History:...

 submarine-launched ballistic missile to accompany the Type 092 ballistic missile submarine
Ballistic missile submarine
A ballistic missile submarine is a submarine equipped to launch ballistic missiles .-Description:Ballistic missile submarines are larger than any other type of submarine, in order to accommodate SLBMs such as the Russian R-29 or the American Trident...

 (SSBN) also in development.

On June 17, 1967, China successfully detonated its first
Chinese nuclear test No. 6
Test No. 6 is the codename for the China's first test of a three-staged thermonuclear device and, also its sixth nuclear weapons test. The device was detonated at Lop Nur Test Base, or often dubbed as Lop Nur Nuclear Weapon Test Base, in Malan, Xinjiang, on 17 June 1967...

 thermonuclear device.

As the space race
Space Race
The Space Race was a mid-to-late 20th century competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in space exploration. Between 1957 and 1975, Cold War rivalry between the two nations focused on attaining firsts in space exploration, which were seen as necessary for national...

 between the two superpowers reached its climax with the conquest of the Moon, Mao and Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976...

 decided on July 14, 1967 that the PRC should not be left behind, and started China's own crewed space program. China's first spacecraft designed for human occupancy was named Shuguang-1 (曙光一号) in January 1968. China's Space Medical Institute (航天医学工程研究所) was founded on April 1, 1968, and the Central Military Commission
Central Military Commission
A Central Military Commission or National Defense Commission is an organisation typical of Communist one-party states, responsible for supervising the nation's armed forces....

 issued the order of starting the selection of astronauts.

As part of the "third line" effort to relocate critical defense infrastructure to the relatively remote interior (away from the Soviet border), it was decided to construct a new space center in the mountainous region of Xichang
Xichang
Xichang is a city in and the seat of the Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, in the south of Sichuan province, People's Republic of China. In 2004 it had a population of 126,700.-Geography:...

 in the Sichuan
Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 province, code-named Base 27
Xichang Satellite Launch Center
The Xichang Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 27 , is a People’s Republic of China space vehicle launch facility approximately 64 km northwest of Xichang City, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province....

.

A first liquid-propellant DF-3 medium-range ballistic missile was successfully launched from the Northern Missile Test Site on December 18, 1968, inaugurating the test site.

In August 1969, the development of China's first heavy-lift satellite launch vehicle
Launch vehicle
In spaceflight, a launch vehicle or carrier rocket is a rocket used to carry a payload from the Earth's surface into outer space. A launch system includes the launch vehicle, the launch pad and other infrastructure....

 (SLV), the FB-1 (风暴一号, was started by Shanghai’s 2nd Bureau of Mechanic-Electrical Industry. The all-liquid two-stage launcher was derived from the DF-5 ICBM. Only a few months later, a parallel heavy-lift SLV program, also based on the same DF-5 ICBM and known as CZ-2
Long March 2A
The Long March 2A, also known as the Chang Zheng 2A, CZ-2A and LM-2A, was a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It was launched from Launch Area 2B at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. It was a 2-stage rocket, and flew just once, on 5 November 1974...

, was started in Beijing by the First Space Academy.

The DF-4 was used to develop the Long March-1 SLV
Long March rocket
A Long March rocket or Chang Zheng rocket as in Chinese pinyin is any rocket in a family of expendable launch systems operated by the People's Republic of China. Development and design falls under the auspices of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology...

. A newly-designed spin-up orbital insertion solid propellant rocket motor third stage was added to the two existing Nitric acid
Nitric acid
Nitric acid , also known as aqua fortis and spirit of nitre, is a highly corrosive and toxic strong acid.Colorless when pure, older samples tend to acquire a yellow cast due to the accumulation of oxides of nitrogen. If the solution contains more than 86% nitric acid, it is referred to as fuming...

/UDMH
UDMH
Unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine is a toxic volatile hygroscopic clear liquid, with a sharp, fishy, ammoniacal smell typical for organic amines. It turns yellowish on exposure to air and absorbs oxygen and carbon dioxide. It mixes completely with water, ethanol, and kerosene. In concentration...

 liquid propellant stages. An attempt to use this vehicle to launch a Chinese satellite before Japan's first attempt
Osumi (satellite)
Ōsumi is the name of the first Japanese artificial satellite put into orbit, named after the Ōsumi Province in the southern islands of Japan. It was launched on February 11, 1970 at 04:25 UTC with a Lambda 4S-5 rocket from Uchinoura Space Center by Institute of Space and Aeronautical Science,...

 ended in failure on November 16, 1969.

The first DF-4 liquid-propellant with two-stage, single-warhead IRBM was tested with success on January 30, 1970. The addition of a second-stage allowed the missile to increased its range to over 4750 km.

The second satellite launch attempt on April 24, 1970 was successful. A CZ-1 was used to launch the 173 kg Dong Fang Hong I
Dong Fang Hong I
Dong Fang Hong I , also known as China 1, was the People's Republic of China's first space satellite, launched successfully on April 24, 1970 as part of the PRC's Dong Fang Hong space satellite program. At 173 kg , it was heavier than the first satellites of other countries. The satellite carried...

(东方红一号 (meaning The East Is Red
The East Is Red
"The East Is Red" is a song that was the de facto anthem of the People's Republic of China during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s. The lyrics of the song were attributed to Li Youyuan, a farmer from northern Shaanxi, and the melody was derived from a local folk song...

 I), also known as Mao-1. It was the heaviest first satellite placed into orbit by a nation, exceeding the combined masses of the first satellites of the other four previous countries. The third stage of the CZ-1 was specially equipped with a 40 m2 solar reflector (观察球) deployed by the centrifugal force
Centrifugal force
Centrifugal force can generally be any force directed outward relative to some origin. More particularly, in classical mechanics, the centrifugal force is an outward force which arises when describing the motion of objects in a rotating reference frame...

 developed by the spin up orbital insertion solid propellant stage. Therefore, the faint magnitude
Apparent magnitude
The apparent magnitude of a celestial body is a measure of its brightness as seen by an observer on Earth, adjusted to the value it would have in the absence of the atmosphere...

 5 to 8 brightness of the DFH-1 made the satellite (at best) barely visible with naked eyes was consequently dramatically increased to a comfortable magnitude 2 to 3.

The PRC's second satellite was launched with the last of the CZ-1 SLVs on March 3, 1971. The 221 kg ShiJian-1 (SJ-1) was equipped with a magnetometer
Magnetometer
A magnetometer is a measuring instrument used to measure the strength or direction of a magnetic field either produced in the laboratory or existing in nature...

 and cosmic-ray/x-ray
X-ray
X-radiation is a form of electromagnetic radiation. X-rays have a wavelength in the range of 0.01 to 10 nanometers, corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz and energies in the range 120 eV to 120 keV. They are shorter in wavelength than UV rays and longer than gamma...

 detectors.

With the newly acquired confidence following the milestone technological achievement of the nuclear weapons and satellite projects (“两弹一星”), the first crewed space program known as Project 714, was officially adopted in April 1971 with the goal of sending two astronauts into space by 1973 aboard the Shuguang
Shuguang spacecraft
Shuguang One , meaning "dawn" in Mandarin, also known as Project 714 , was the first manned spacecraft proposed by the People's Republic of China during the late 1960s and early 1970s that was never built. The design was for a two-man capsule, similar to the American Gemini spacecraft, that could...

spacecraft. The first screening process for astronauts had already ended on March 15, 1971, with 19 astronauts chosen. The program would soon be cancelled due to political turmoil.

A first flight test of the DF-5 ICBM was carried out in October 1971.
On August 10, 1972, the new heavy-lift SLV FB-1 made its maiden test flight, with only partial success.

The CZ-2A
Long March 2A
The Long March 2A, also known as the Chang Zheng 2A, CZ-2A and LM-2A, was a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It was launched from Launch Area 2B at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. It was a 2-stage rocket, and flew just once, on 5 November 1974...

 launcher, originally designed to carry the Shuguang-1 spacecraft, was first tested on November 5, 1974, carrying China’s first FSW-0
Fanhui Shi Weixing
Fanhui Shi Weixing is a series of Chinese recoverable reconnaissance satellites. The satellites were used for both military and civilian observation needs, with a total of 26 flights. The first flight was FSW-0 on 1969-06-01 and the last SJ-8 on 2006-09-09....

 recoverable satellite, but failed. After some redesign work, the modified CZ-2C
Long March 2C
Long March 2C , or Chang Zheng 2C as in Chinese pinyin is a member of the Long March 2 rocket family, an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China. This vehicle was developed by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, and the first launch occurred on November 26,...

 successfully launched the FSW-0 No.1
Fanhui Shi Weixing
Fanhui Shi Weixing is a series of Chinese recoverable reconnaissance satellites. The satellites were used for both military and civilian observation needs, with a total of 26 flights. The first flight was FSW-0 on 1969-06-01 and the last SJ-8 on 2006-09-09....

 recoverable satellite (返回式卫星) into orbit on November 26, 1975.

After expansion, the Northern Missile Test Site was upgraded as a test base in January 1976 to become the Northern Missile Test Base (华北导弹试验基地) known as Base 25
Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center
The Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 25 , is a People's Republic of China space and defence launch facility . It is situated in Kelan County, Xinzhou Prefecture, Shanxi Province and is the second of three launch sites having been founded in March 1966 and coming into full...

.

After Mao Zedong's death


After Mao died on September 9, 1976, his rival, Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping
Deng Xiaoping was a Chinese politician, statesman, and diplomat. As leader of the Communist Party of China, Deng was a reformer who led China towards a market economy...

, denounced during the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

 as reactionary
Reactionary
The term reactionary refers to viewpoints that seek to return to a previous state in a society. The term is meant to describe one end of a political spectrum whose opposite pole is "radical". While it has not been generally considered a term of praise it has been adopted as a self-description by...

 and therefore forced to retire from all his offices, slowly re-emerged as China's new leader in 1978. At first, new development was slowed. Then, several key projects deemed unnecessary were simply cancelled—the Fanji ABM system, the Xianfeng Anti-Missile Super Gun, the ICBM Early Warning Network 7010 Tracking Radar and the land-based high-power anti-missile laser program. Nevertheless, some development did proceed.

The first Yuanwang
Yuanwang
The Yuanwang-class are used for tracking and support of satellite and intercontinental ballistic missiles by the People's Liberation Army Navy of the People's Republic of China ....

-class space tracking ship was commissioned in 1979.

The first full-range test of the DF-5 ICBM was conducted on May 18, 1980. The payload reached its target located 9300 km away in the South Pacific (7°0′S 117°33′E) and retrieved five minutes later by helicopter.

Further development of the Long March rocket
Long March rocket
A Long March rocket or Chang Zheng rocket as in Chinese pinyin is any rocket in a family of expendable launch systems operated by the People's Republic of China. Development and design falls under the auspices of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology...

 series allowed the PRC to initiate a commercial launch program in 1985, which has since launched over 30 foreign satellites, primarily for Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an and Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

n interests.

The next crewed space program was even more ambitious and proposed in March 1986, as Astronautics plan 863-2. This consisted of a crewed spacecraft (Project 863-204) used to ferry astronaut crews to a space station (Project 863-205). Several spaceplane designs were rejected two years later and a simpler space capsule was chosen instead. Although the project did not achieve its goals, it would ultimately evolve into the 1992 Project 921.

The China Ministry of Aerospace Industry was founded on July 5, 1988.

On September 15, 1988, a JL-1
JL-1
The Julang-1, also known as the JL-1 and in US nomenclature as the CSS-N-3, is China's first submarine launched nuclear ballistic missile.-History:...

 SLBM was launched from a Type 092 submarine. The maximum range of the SLBM is 2150 km.

After the end of the Cold War


Along with Deng's policy of de facto restoration of capitalism
Capitalism
Capitalism is an economic system that became dominant in the Western world following the demise of feudalism. There is no consensus on the precise definition nor on how the term should be used as a historical category...

 in the Chinese economy, implemented in incremental steps, the cultural fabric of the Chinese society was soon his next target. Therefore, names used in the space program, previously all chosen from the revolutionary history of the PRC, were soon replaced with mystical-religious ones. Thus, new Long March carrier rockets were renamed Divine arrow (神箭), spacecapsule Divine vessel (神舟), spaceplane Divine dragon (神龙), land-based high-power laser Divine light (神光) and supercomputer Divine might (神威).

In June 1993, China Aerospace Industry Corporation (National Space Bureau) was founded in Beijing.

On February 15, 1996, during the flight of the first Long March 3B
Long March 3B
The Long March 3B , also known as the Chang Zheng 3B, CZ-3B and LM-3B, is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. Introduced in 1996, it is launched from Launch Area 2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre...

 heavy carrier rocket carrying Intelsat 708
Intelsat 708
Intelsat 708 was a telecommunications satellite built by the American company Space Systems/Loral intended to be launched into a geostationary orbit and operated by Intelsat...

, the rocket veered off course immediately after clearing the launch platform crashing 22 seconds later. It crashed 1,850 meters away from the launch pad into a nearby mountain village, destroying 80 houses according to the official count, and killing more than 500 civilians according to unofficial Chinese sources.

On the 50th anniversary of the PRC's founding, China launched the Shenzhou 1
Shenzhou 1
Shenzhou 1 launched on November 19, 1999, was the first unmanned launch of the Shenzhou spacecraft. The spacecraft used was not equipped with a life support system or an emergency escape system. After orbiting the Earth 14 times, the command for retrofire was sent by the Yuanwang 3 tracking ship...

 spacecraft on November 20, 1999 and recovering it after a flight of 21 hours. The country became the third country with a successful crewed space program by sending an astronaut into space aboard 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...

 on October 15, 2003 for more than 21 hours.

China has since turned its focus to extraterrestrial exploration starting with the Moon. The first Chinese Lunar Exploration Program
Chinese Lunar Exploration Program
Chinese Lunar Exploration Program , also known as the Chang'e program, is a program of robotic and human missions to the Moon undertaken by the China National Space Administration , the space agency of the People's Republic of China...

 un-crewed lunar orbiter Chang'e 1 was successfully launched on October 24, 2007, making China the fifth nation to successfully orbit the Moon.

Dual-use technologies and outer space


The PRC is a member of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space was established in 1958 as an ad hoc committee...

 and a signatory to all United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 treaties and conventions on space. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 government has long been resistant to the use of PRC launch services by American industry due to concerns over alleged civilian technology transfer that could have dual-use military applications to traditional allied countries such as Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 or Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

, and in 2000 announced an official embargo. Thus, financial retaliatory measures have been taken on many occasions against several Chinese space companies.

Organization


Initially the space program of the PRC was organized under the People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

, particularly the Second Artillery Corps. In the 1990s, however, the PRC reorganized the space program as part of a general reorganization of the defense industry to make it resemble Western defense procurement.

The China National Space Administration
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 agency within the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense
Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense
The Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense was a civilian ministry within the State Council of the People's Republic of China, responsible for setting policy for defense procurement. It was considered as the Chinese counterpart of DARPA of the USA...

 currently headed by Sun Laiyan
Sun Laiyan
Sun Laiyan is the current Administrator of the China National Space Administration . He was appointed to this position in 2004.-Biography:...

, is now responsible for launches. The Long March rocket
Long March rocket
A Long March rocket or Chang Zheng rocket as in Chinese pinyin is any rocket in a family of expendable launch systems operated by the People's Republic of China. Development and design falls under the auspices of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology...

 which is produced by the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology
China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology
The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology is the premier space launch vehicle manufacturer in China and one of the major launch service providers in the world. CALT is a subordinate of the larger China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation...

, and satellites are produced by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation
China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation
The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation is the main contractor for the Chinese space program. It is state-owned and has a number of subordinate entities which design, develop and manufacture a range of spacecraft, launch vehicles, strategic and tactical missile systems, and ground...

. The latter organizations are state-owned enterprises; however, it is the intent of the PRC government that they not actively be state managed and that they behave much as private companies would in the West.

Universities and institutes


The space program also has close links with:
  • School of Aerospace, Tsinghua University
    Tsinghua University
    Tsinghua University , colloquially known in Chinese as Qinghua, is a university in Beijing, China. The school is one of the nine universities of the C9 League. It was established in 1911 under the name "Tsinghua Xuetang" or "Tsinghua College" and was renamed the "Tsinghua School" one year later...

  • School of Aerospace, Xi'an Jiaotong University
    Xi'an Jiaotong University
    Xi'an Jiaotong University , also known as Xi'an Chiao Tung University, is a top Chinese university located in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, People's Republic of China. Xi'an Jiaotong University is located in Xi'an, the ancient capital of China...

  • School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Zhejiang University
    Zhejiang University
    Zhejiang University , sometimes referred to as Zheda, is a national university in China. Founded in 1897, Zhejiang University is one of China's oldest institutions of higher education...

  • Institute of Aerospace Science and Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University
  • College of Aeronautics, Harbin Institute of Technology
    Harbin Institute of Technology
    The Harbin Institute of Technology , or HIT, is colloquially known as Hagongda . It is a research university in the city of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China....

  • School of Automation Science and Electrical Engineering, Beihang University

Space cities

  • Dongfeng space city (东风航天城),also known as Base 20 (二十基地) or Dongfeng base (东风基地)
  • Beijing space city (北京航天城)
  • Wenchang space city (文昌航天城)
  • Shanghai space city (上海航天城)
  • Yantai space city (烟台航天城)
  • Guizhou Aerospace Industrial Park (贵州航天高新技术产业园),also known as Base 061 (航天○六一基地), founded in 2002 after approval of Project 863 for industrialization of aerospace research centers (“国家863计划成果产业化基地”).

Suborbital launch sites

  • Nanhui (南汇县老港镇东进村) First successful launch of a T-7M sounding rocket on February 19, 1960.
  • Base 603
    Base 603
    Guangde Rocket Launch Site also known as Base 603 is a suborbital launch site that was operated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences located in Shijiedu , Shijie Town , Guangde County, Xuancheng Prefecture, Anhui province on the Chinese east coast...

     (安徽广德誓节渡中国科学院六○三基地) Also known as Guangde Launch Site (广德发射场). The first successful flight of a biological experimental T-7A(S1) sounding rocket transporting eight white mice was launched and recovered on July 19, 1964.

Satellite launch centers


The PRC operates 4 satellite launch centers:
  • Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
    Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
    Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is a People's Republic of China space vehicle launch facility .The facility is part of Dongfeng Aerospace City , and is located in the Gobi desert, Ejin Banner , Alxa League , Inner Mongolia, situated about 1,600 km from Beijing.- History :It was founded in 1958,...

     (JSLC)
  • Xichang Satellite Launch Center
    Xichang Satellite Launch Center
    The Xichang Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 27 , is a People’s Republic of China space vehicle launch facility approximately 64 km northwest of Xichang City, Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province....

     (XSLC)
  • Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center
    Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center
    The Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center also known as Base 25 , is a People's Republic of China space and defence launch facility . It is situated in Kelan County, Xinzhou Prefecture, Shanxi Province and is the second of three launch sites having been founded in March 1966 and coming into full...

     (TSLC)
  • Wenchang Satellite Launch Center
    Wenchang Satellite Launch Center
    Wenchang Satellite Launch Center , located near Wenchang on the north-east coast of Hainan Island, is a former sub-orbital test center currently under upgrade. It is the fourth and southernmost space vehicle launch facility of the People's Republic of China...

     (WSLC)

Monitoring and control centers

  • Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center
    Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center
    Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center is a command center for the Chinese space program which includes the Shenzhou missions. The space center is supervised and managed by the government of the People's Republic of China. BACCC's primary functions include supervision, telemetry, tracking...

     (BACCC)
  • Xian Satellite Monitor and Control Center (XSCC) also known as Base 26(二十六基地)
  • Fleet of six Yuanwang
    Yuanwang
    The Yuanwang-class are used for tracking and support of satellite and intercontinental ballistic missiles by the People's Liberation Army Navy of the People's Republic of China ....

    -class space tracking ships.
  • Data relay satellite (数据中继卫星) Tianlian I
    Tianlian I
    Tianlian I , also known as Tian Lian 1, TL-1, and CTDRS-1 is a Chinese data tracking and relay communications satellite series. Based on the DFH-3 satellite bus, it will provide communication coverage for manned Shenzhou missions, from Shenzhou 7 onwards...

     (天链一号), specially developed to decrease the communication time between the Shenzhou 7
    Shenzhou 7
    - Backup crew :Of the back-up crew, only Chen Quan had not previously flown in space.- Mission highlights :The Long March 2F rocket launched the Shenzhou 7 into an initial elliptical orbit of 200 x 330 kilometres inclined at 42.4 degrees on 25 September 2008. About seven hours later the spacecraft...

     spaceship and the ground, it will also improve the amount of data that can be transferred. The current orbit coverage of 12 percent will thus be increased to a total of about 60 percent.
  • Deep Space Tracking Network composed with radio antennas in Beijing
    Beijing
    Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

    , Shanghai
    Shanghai
    Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in the People's Republic of China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010...

    , Kunming
    Kunming
    ' is the capital and largest city of Yunnan Province in Southwest China. It was known as Yunnan-Fou until the 1920s. A prefecture-level city, it is the political, economic, communications and cultural centre of Yunnan, and is the seat of the provincial government...

    , Urumuqi and forming a 3000 km VLBI(甚长基线干涉).

Domestic tracking stations

  • New integrated land-based space monitoring and control network stations, forming a large triangle with Kashi
    Kashgar
    Kashgar or Kashi is an oasis city with approximately 350,000 residents in the western part of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. Kashgar is the administrative centre of Kashgar Prefecture which has an area of 162,000 km² and a population of approximately...

     in the north-west of China, Jiamusi
    Jiamusi
    Jiamusi is a prefecture-level city in the province of Heilongjiang, in the People's Republic of China. Located on the riverside of the middle and lower reaches of the Songhua River, It faces Russia across the Ussuri River and the Heilongjiang River...

     in the north-east and Sanya
    Sanya
    Sanya is the southernmost city in China and is a part of Hainan Province. In 2006, it had a population of 536,000, making it, after the provincial capital , the second most populous city on the island. The city is renowned for its tropical climate and has emerged as a popular tourist destination,...

     in the south.

  • Weinan Station
  • Changchun Station
  • Qingdao Station
  • Zhanyi Station
  • Nanhai Station
  • Tianshan Station
  • Xiamen Station
  • Lushan Station
  • Jiamusi Station
  • Dongfeng Station
  • Hetian Station

Overseas tracking stations

  • Karachi
    Karachi
    Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

     Station
  • Tarawa Station (dismantled in 2003)
  • Malindi
    Malindi
    Malindi is a town on Malindi Bay at the mouth of the Galana River, lying on the Indian Ocean coast of Kenya. It is 120 kilometres northeast of Mombasa. The population of Malindi is 117,735 . It is the capital of the Malindi District.Tourism is the major industry in Malindi. The city is...

     Station
  • Swakopmund
    Swakopmund
    Swakopmund is a city on the coast of northwestern Namibia, west of Windhoek, Namibia's capital. It is the capital of the Erongo administrative district. As a seaside resort, the weather is cooler here in December to January so the territorial administration moves to Swakopmund for these months...

     Station

Plus shared space tracking facilities with France, Brazil, Sweden and Australia.

Project 714


As the Space Race
Space Race
The Space Race was a mid-to-late 20th century competition between the Soviet Union and the United States for supremacy in space exploration. Between 1957 and 1975, Cold War rivalry between the two nations focused on attaining firsts in space exploration, which were seen as necessary for national...

 between the two superpowers reached its climax with the conquest of the Moon, Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong
Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung , and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution...

 and Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai
Zhou Enlai was the first Premier of the People's Republic of China, serving from October 1949 until his death in January 1976...

 decided on July 14, 1967 that the PRC should not be left behind, and therefore initiated China's own crewed space program. The top-secret Project 714 aimed to put two people into space by 1973 with the Shuguang
Shuguang spacecraft
Shuguang One , meaning "dawn" in Mandarin, also known as Project 714 , was the first manned spacecraft proposed by the People's Republic of China during the late 1960s and early 1970s that was never built. The design was for a two-man capsule, similar to the American Gemini spacecraft, that could...

 spacecraft. Nineteen PLAAF pilots were selected for this goal on March 1971. The Shuguang-1 spacecraft to be launched with the CZ-2A rocket was designed to carry a crew of two. The program was officially cancelled on May 13, 1972 for economic reasons, though the internal politics of the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

 likely motivated the closure.

The short-lived second crewed program was based on the successful implementation of landing technology (third in the World after USSR and USA) by FSW satellite
Fanhui Shi Weixing
Fanhui Shi Weixing is a series of Chinese recoverable reconnaissance satellites. The satellites were used for both military and civilian observation needs, with a total of 26 flights. The first flight was FSW-0 on 1969-06-01 and the last SJ-8 on 2006-09-09....

s. It was announced few times in 1978 with the open publishing of some details including photos, but then was abruptly canceled in 1980. It has been argued that the second crewed program was created solely for propaganda purposes, and was never intended to produce results.

Project 863


A new crewed space program was proposed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences
The Chinese Academy of Sciences , formerly known as Academia Sinica, is the national academy for the natural sciences of the People's Republic of China. It is an institution of the State Council of China. It is headquartered in Beijing, with institutes all over the People's Republic of China...

 in March 1986, as Astronautics plan 863-2. This consisted of a crewed spacecraft (Project 863-204) used to ferry astronaut crews to a space station (Project 863-205). In September of that year, astronauts in training were presented by the Chinese media. The various proposed crewed spacecraft were mostly spaceplanes. Project 863 ultimately evolved into the 1992 Project 921.

Space capsule



In 1992, authorization and funding was given for the first phase of Project 921, which was a plan to launch a crewed spacecraft. The Shenzhou program had four uncrewed test flights and two crewed missions. The first one was Shenzhou 1
Shenzhou 1
Shenzhou 1 launched on November 19, 1999, was the first unmanned launch of the Shenzhou spacecraft. The spacecraft used was not equipped with a life support system or an emergency escape system. After orbiting the Earth 14 times, the command for retrofire was sent by the Yuanwang 3 tracking ship...

on November 20, 1999. On January 9, 2001 Shenzhou 2
Shenzhou 2
Shenzhou 2 launched on January 9, 2001, was the second unmanned launch of the Shenzhou spacecraft. Inside the reentry capsule were a monkey, a dog and a rabbit in a test of the spaceship's life support systems...

launched carrying test animals. Shenzhou 3
Shenzhou 3
Shenzhou 3 launched on March 25, 2002, was the third unmanned launch of China's Shenzhou spacecraft. This was the first Shenzhou spacecraft launched that could have actually carried a human and as such the main objective of the mission was to test the systems required to support a human in space...

and Shenzhou 4
Shenzhou 4
Shenzhou 4 launched on December 29, 2002, was the fourth unmanned launch of the Chinese Shenzhou spacecraft. Carried on board were two dummy astronauts to test the life support systems....

were launched in 2002, carrying test dummies. Following these was the successful 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...

, China's first crewed mission in space on October 15, 2003, which carried Yang Liwei
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:...

 in orbit for 21 hours and made China the third nation to launch a human into orbit. 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...

followed two years later ending the first phase of the Project 921. Missions are launched on the Long March 2F
Long March 2F
The Long March 2F , also known as the CZ-2F, LM-2F and Shenjian, is a Chinese manned orbital carrier rocket, part of the Long March rocket family. Designed to launch manned Shenzhou spacecraft, the Long March 2F is a man-rated two-stage version of the Long March 2E rocket, which in turn was based...

 rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is a People's Republic of China space vehicle launch facility .The facility is part of Dongfeng Aerospace City , and is located in the Gobi desert, Ejin Banner , Alxa League , Inner Mongolia, situated about 1,600 km from Beijing.- History :It was founded in 1958,...

. The China Crewed Space Engineering Office provides engineering and administrative support for the crewed Shenzhou missions.

Space laboratory



The second phase of the Project 921 started with Shenzhou 7
Shenzhou 7
- Backup crew :Of the back-up crew, only Chen Quan had not previously flown in space.- Mission highlights :The Long March 2F rocket launched the Shenzhou 7 into an initial elliptical orbit of 200 x 330 kilometres inclined at 42.4 degrees on 25 September 2008. About seven hours later the spacecraft...

, China's first spacewalk mission. Then, two crewed missions are planned to the first Chinese space laboratory. The PRC initially designed the Shenzhou spacecraft
Shenzhou spacecraft
Shenzhou is a spacecraft developed and operated by the People's Republic of China to support its manned spaceflight program. The name is variously translated as "Divine Craft," "Divine Vessel of God," "Magic Boat" or similar and is also homophonous with an ancient name for China...

 with docking technologies imported from Russia, therefore compatible with the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

 (ISS). On September 29, 2011, China launched Tiangong 1
Tiangong 1
Tiangong-1 is a Chinese space laboratory module, and is an experimental testbed to demonstrate the rendezvous and docking capabilities needed to support a space station complex. Launched unmanned aboard a Long March 2F/G rocket on 29 September 2011, it is part of the Tiangong program, which aims...

. This target module is the first step to testing the technology required for a planed space station.

On October 31, 2011, a Long March 2F rocket lifted the Shenzhou 8
Shenzhou 8
Shenzhou 8 was an unmanned flight of China's Shenzhou program, launched on October 31, 2011 UTC, or November 1 in China, by a modified Long March 2F rocket which lifted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center....

 uncrewed captual which will dock with the Tiangong 1 module. It will separate again then repeat the docking once more. Two manned missions are planned for 2012/13 designated Shenzhou 9
Shenzhou 9
Shenzhou 9 is a planned, probably manned flight of China's Shenzhou program that is scheduled for launch in March or April 2012, following the unmanned Shenzhou 8 mission in 2011. The aim of the mission will be to perform a docking with the Tiangong 1...

 and Shenzhou 10
Shenzhou 10
Shenzhou 10 is a planned manned spaceflight of China's Shenzhou program that is scheduled for launch in 2012. This conventional Shenzhou will carry a crew of three astronauts...

. The Tiangong 1 target modules is then expected to be deorbited.

A second space lab, Tiangong 2
Tiangong 2
Tiangong-2 will be a Chinese space laboratory, part of the Project 921-2 space station program. Tiangong-2 is expected to be launched by the China National Space Agency in 2013 to replace the prototype module Tiangong-1, which was launched in September 2011....

 will be launched in 2013. This will be larger than Tiangong 1 at some 20 tons and 14.4 metres length. This will be visited by future Shenzhou missions though exact details are not yet available.

Space station



A larger basic permanent space station (基本型空间站) would be the third and last phase of Project 921. This will be a modular design with an eventual weight of around 60 tons, to be completed sometime before 2020. The first section, designated Tiangong 3
Tiangong 3
Tiangong-3 will be a Chinese space station module, part of the Tiangong space station program. The China National Space Agency is expected to launch Tiangong-3 around 2015, following the launch of the Tiangong-2 laboratory module in 2013...

, is scheduled for launch in 2015. Tiangong 3 will weigh 22 tons and be 18.1 metres long. Additional modules will be connected over several missions to build the space station.

This could also be the beginning of China's crewed international cooperation, which existence was officially disclosed for the first time after the launch of Shenzhou 7.

The Chinese space station is scheduled to be completed in 2020, just as the International Space Station
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

 is scheduled to retire.

Proposed lunar exploration



In February 2004, the PRC formally started the implementation phase of its uncrewed Moon
Moon
The Moon is Earth's only known natural satellite,There are a number of near-Earth asteroids including 3753 Cruithne that are co-orbital with Earth: their orbits bring them close to Earth for periods of time but then alter in the long term . These are quasi-satellites and not true moons. For more...

 exploration project. According to Sun Laiyan
Sun Laiyan
Sun Laiyan is the current Administrator of the China National Space Administration . He was appointed to this position in 2004.-Biography:...

, administrator of the China National Space Administration
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...

, the project will involve three phases: orbiting the Moon; landing; and returning samples. The first phase planned to spend 1.4 billion renminbi
Renminbi
The Renminbi is the official currency of the People's Republic of China . Renminbi is legal tender in mainland China, but not in Hong Kong or Macau. It is issued by the People's Bank of China, the monetary authority of the PRC...

 (approx. US$170 million) to orbit a satellite around the Moon before 2007, which is ongoing. Phase two involves sending a lander before 2010. Phase three involves collecting lunar soil samples before 2020.

On November 27, 2005, the deputy commander of the crewed spaceflight program announced that the PRC planned to complete a space station and a crewed mission to the Moon by 2020, assuming funding was approved by the government. Towards that end it intended to perfect space walking and docking by 2012.

On December 14, 2005, it was reported "an effort to launch lunar orbiting satellites will be supplanted in 2007 by a program aimed at accomplishing an uncrewed lunar landing. A program to return uncrewed space vehicles from the moon will begin in 2012 and last for five years, until the crewed program gets underway" in 2017, with a crewed Moon landing some time after that.

Nonetheless, the decision to develop a totally new moon rocket
Moon rocket
Moon rocket may refer to:Current/Past Manned moon rockets / man-rated moon rockets* Saturn V - the Apollo program launcher for the manned moon landings* N1 rocket - Sergei Korolev's failed launcher for the Soviet manned moon program...

 in the 1962 Soviet UR-700M-class (Project Aelita) able to launch a 500 ton payload in LTO and a more modest 50 tons LTO payload LV has been discussed in a 2006 conference by academician Zhang Guitian (张贵田), a liquid propellant rocket engine speciallist, who developed the CZ-2 and CZ-4A rockets engines.

On June 22, 2006, Long Lehao, deputy chief architect of the lunar probe project, laid out a schedule for China's lunar exploration. He set 2024 as the date of China's first moonwalk.

In September 2010, it was announced that the country is planning to carry out explorations in deep space by sending a man to the Moon by 2025. China also hopes to bring a moon rock sample back to Earth in 2017, and subsequently build an observatory on the Moon's surface. Ye Peijian
Ye Peijian
Ye Peijian , is a prominent Chinese expert on information technology and aerospace engineering. He is the current Chief Commander and Chief Designer of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program .-Career:Ye was born in Huzhuang Village, Taixing, Jiangsu Province in January 1945...

, Commander in Chief of the Chang’e programme and an academic at the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Chinese Academy of Sciences
The Chinese Academy of Sciences , formerly known as Academia Sinica, is the national academy for the natural sciences of the People's Republic of China. It is an institution of the State Council of China. It is headquartered in Beijing, with institutes all over the People's Republic of China...

, added that China has the "full capacity to accomplish Mars exploration by 2013."

As indicated by the official Chinese Lunar Exploration Program insignia, denoted by a calligraphic Moon ideogram (月) in the shape of a nascent lunar crescent, with two human footsteps at its center, the ultimate objective of the program is to establish a permanent human presence on the Earth's natural satellite.

Yang Liwei
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:...

 declared at the 16th Human in Space Symposium of International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) in Beijing, on May 22, 2007 that building a lunar base was a crucial step to realize a flight to Mars and farther planets.

According to practice, since the whole project is only at a very early preparatory research phase, no official crewed Moon program has been announced yet by the authorities. But its existence is nonetheless revealed by regular intentional leaks in the media. A typical example is the Lunar Roving Vehicle
Chang'e 3
Chang'e 3 is a Chinese lunar exploration mission, incorporating a robotic lander and rover. Scheduled for launch in 2013 as part of the second phase of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, it will be China's first lunar rover, and the first spacecraft to make a soft landing on the Moon since the...

 (月球车) that was shown on a Chinese TV channel (东方卫视) during the 2008 May Day
International Workers' Day
International Workers' Day is a celebration of the international labour movement and left-wing movements. It commonly sees organized street demonstrations and marches by working people and their labour unions throughout most of the world. May 1 is a national holiday in more than 80 countries...

 celebrations.

Mission to Mars and beyond



Sun Laiyan
Sun Laiyan
Sun Laiyan is the current Administrator of the China National Space Administration . He was appointed to this position in 2004.-Biography:...

, administrator of the China National Space Administration
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...

, said on July 20, 2006 that China would start deep space exploration focusing on Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

 over the next five years, during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2006–2010) Program period.

The first uncrewed Mars exploration program could take place between 2014–2033, followed by a crewed phase in 2040-2060.

Moreover, in order to make crewed flight in deep space toward Mars safer, a space weather
Space weather
Space weather is the concept of changing environmental conditions in near-Earth space or thespace from the Sun's atmosphere to the Earth's atmosphere. It is distinct from the concept ofweather within the Earth's planetary atmosphere...

 forecast system will be completed by 2012 with the Kuafu
Kuafu
The Kuafu project is a Chinese space project to establish a space weather forecasting system composed of three satellites, to be completed by 2012....

 mission satellites placed at the Lagrangian Point L1.

The Chief designer of the Shenzhou spacecraft has stated in 2006 in an interview that:

Goals


PRC's space program has several goals. The China National Space Administration policy white paper lists short term goals as:
  • Build a long term earth observation system
  • Set up an independent satellite telecommunications network
  • Establish an independent satellite navigation and positioning system
  • Provide commercial launch services
  • Set up a remote sensing system
  • Study space science such as microgravity, space materials, life sciences, and astronomy
  • Plan for exploration of the moon

Among their stated longer term goals are:
  • Improve their standing in the world of space science
  • Establish a crewed space station
  • Crewed missions to the moon
  • Establish a crewed lunar base

Satellites and science

  • Space-Based ASAT System Small and nano-satellites developed by the Small Satellite Research Institute of the Chinese Academy of Space Technology
  • The Double Star Mission
    Double Star Mission
    Double Star is a joint satellite based space mission by the China National Space Administration and the European Space Agency . It is the first space mission launched by China to investigate Earth's magnetosphere. It consists of two satellites: an Equatorial satellite and Polar satellite...

     comprised two satellites launched in 2003 and 2004 jointly with ESA to study the Earth's magnetosphere.
  • Dong Fang Hong
    Dong Fang Hong
    Dong Fang Hong , meaning The East is Red, is a space satellite program for the People's Republic of China, which started in 1970. Satellites in this series were placed in either low Earth orbit or geostationary orbit and carried out a variety of purposes: testing, remote sensing,...

     series of satellites
  • Tianlian 2 (天链二号) Next generation data relay satellite (DRS) system based on the DFH-4 satellite bus, with two satellites providing up to 85% coverage.
  • Beidou navigation system
    Beidou navigation system
    The BeiDou Navigation System or BeiDou Navigation Satellite System is a project by China to develop an independent satellite navigation system...

     or Compass Navigation Satellite System, composed of 60 to 70 satellites, during the "Eleventh Five-Year Plan" period (2006–2010)
  • Astrophysics
    Astrophysics
    Astrophysics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the physics of the universe, including the physical properties of celestial objects, as well as their interactions and behavior...

     research, with the launch of the world's largest Solar Space Telescope in 2008, and Project 973 Space Hard X-Ray Modulation Telescope (硬X射线调制望远镜HXMT) by 2010.
  • Kuafu
    Kuafu
    The Kuafu project is a Chinese space project to establish a space weather forecasting system composed of three satellites, to be completed by 2012....

     mission satellites for space weather forecast, will be completed by 2012

  • Deep Space Tracking Network with the completion of the FAST
    Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope
    FAST, or the Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope, first proposed in 1994, is a radio telescope to be built by 2013 in a natural basin (大窝凼洼地), Pingtang County 平塘县 near Duyun, capital of the Qiannan Buyei and Miao Autonomous Prefecture 黔南布依族苗族自治州, Guizhou Province 贵州, southwest China ...

    , the world largest single dish radio antenna of 500 m in Guizhou, and a 3000 km VLBI radio antenna

  • a Deep Impact-style mission to test process of re-directing the direction of an asteroid or comet

Satellite launch center

  • Hainan Spaceport
    Wenchang Satellite Launch Center
    Wenchang Satellite Launch Center , located near Wenchang on the north-east coast of Hainan Island, is a former sub-orbital test center currently under upgrade. It is the fourth and southernmost space vehicle launch facility of the People's Republic of China...

     Fourth and southernmost space center, will be upgraded to suit the new CZ-5
    Long March 5 rocket family
    Long March 5 is a Chinese next-generation heavy lift launch system that is currently under development by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology . Currently, six CZ-5 vehicle configurations are planned for different missions, with a maximum payload capacity of 25,000 kg to LEO and...

     Heavy ELV
    Expendable launch system
    An expendable launch system is a launch system that uses an expendable launch vehicle to carry a payload into space. The vehicles used in expendable launch systems are designed to be used only once , and their components are not recovered for re-use after launch...

     and crewed lunar missions

Launch vehicles

  • LM-5D
  • Air-Launched SLV Able to place a 50 kilogram plus payload to 500 km SSO
    Sun-synchronous orbit
    A Sun-synchronous orbit is a geocentric orbit which combines altitude and inclination in such a way that an object on that orbit ascends or descends over any given point of the Earth's surface at the same local mean solar time. The surface illumination angle will be nearly the same every time...

  • Kaituozhe-2
  • Kaituozhe-1
    Kaituozhe-1
    The Kaituozhe-1 or is a Chinese commercial launch vehicle. Small and solid-fueled, its design was based on the road mobile DF-31 ICBM with an additional upper stage. The vehicle has performed two flights, the first in September 2002 and the second exactly one year later...

     (开拓者一号), KT-1A (开拓者一号甲), KT-2 (开拓者二号) , KT-2A (开拓者一二甲) New class of all-solid orbital launch vehicles
  • Kaituozhe-1B (开拓者一号乙) With addition of two solid boosters
  • CZ-1D
    Long March 1 rocket family
    The Long March 1 rocket family is an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China.It includes two models: Long March 1 and Long March 1D....

     Based on a CZ-1
    Long March 1 rocket family
    The Long March 1 rocket family is an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China.It includes two models: Long March 1 and Long March 1D....

    , but with a new N2O4/UDMH second stage
  • CZ-2E(A)
    Long March 2 rocket family
    Long March 2 rocket family or Chang Zheng 2 rocket family as in Chinese pinyin is an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China.-History:...

     Intended for launch of Chinese space station modules. Payload capacity up to 14 tons in LEO, 9000 (kN) liftoff thrust developed by 12 rocket engines, with enlarged fairing of 5.20 m in diameter and length of 12.39 m to accommodate large spacecraft

  • CZ-2F/G
    Long March 2 rocket family
    Long March 2 rocket family or Chang Zheng 2 rocket family as in Chinese pinyin is an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China.-History:...

     Modified CZ-2F without escape tower specially used for launching uncrewed mission such as Shenzhou cargo and space laboratory module, with payload capacity up to 11.2 tons in LEO

  • CZ-3B(A) More powerful Long March rockets using larger-size liquid propellant strap-on motors, with payload capacity up to 13 tons in LEO
  • CZ-3C
    Long March 3C
    The Long March 3C , also known as the Chang Zheng 3C, CZ-3C and LM-3C, is a Chinese orbital carrier rocket. It is launched from Launch Complex 2 at the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre. A 3-stage rocket with two strapon liquid rocket boosters, it is a member of the Long March 3 rocket family, and...

     Launch vehicle combining CZ-3B core with two boosters from CZ-2E
    Long March 2 rocket family
    Long March 2 rocket family or Chang Zheng 2 rocket family as in Chinese pinyin is an expendable launch system operated by the People's Republic of China.-History:...

  • Chang Zheng 5
    Long March 5 rocket family
    Long March 5 is a Chinese next-generation heavy lift launch system that is currently under development by China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology . Currently, six CZ-5 vehicle configurations are planned for different missions, with a maximum payload capacity of 25,000 kg to LEO and...

     Second generation ELV with more efficient and non toxic propellents (25 tonnes in LEO)
  • Chang Zheng 6 or SLV
    SLV
    SLV may refer to:*El Salvador*IATA code for Shimla Airport, India*Slovenian language*Satellite Launch Vehicle, an Indian space launcher*State Library of Victoria*iShares Silver Trust, an Exchange-traded fund with the New York Stock Exchange symbol SLV...

     Small Launch Vehicle, with short launch preparation period, low cost and high reliability, to meet the launch need of small satellites up to 500 kg to 700 km SSO, first flight for 2010; with Fan Ruixiang (范瑞祥) as Chief designer of the project
  • Chang Zheng 7 Used for Phase 4 of Lunar Exploration Program (嫦娥-4 工程), that is permanent base (月面驻留), expected for 2024; Second generation Heavy ELV for lunar and deep space trajectory injection (70 tonnes in LEO), capable of supporting a Soviet L1/L3
    Soviet Moonshot
    The Soviet manned lunar programs were a series of programs pursued by the Soviet Union to land a man on the Moon in competition with the United States Apollo program to achieve the same goal set publicly by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961...

    -like lunar landing mission
  • Project 921-3
    Project 921-3
    Project 921-3 is Manned Spacecraft sub-system of Project 921. The term 921-3 is often used for the Chinese space shuttle program.- History :The Chinese National Manned Space Program was given the designation of Project 921 in 1992...

     Space Shuttle
    Space Shuttle
    The Space Shuttle was a manned orbital rocket and spacecraft system operated by NASA on 135 missions from 1981 to 2011. The system combined rocket launch, orbital spacecraft, and re-entry spaceplane with modular add-ons...

     — Second generation crewed spacecraft Shenlong Spaceplane
  • HTS Maglev Launch Assist Space Shuttle New second generation crewed reusable spacecraft
  • Moon rocket
    Moon rocket
    Moon rocket may refer to:Current/Past Manned moon rockets / man-rated moon rockets* Saturn V - the Apollo program launcher for the manned moon landings* N1 rocket - Sergei Korolev's failed launcher for the Soviet manned moon program...

     Able to launch a 50 tons payload in LTO, in the Soviet UR-700M-class, development discussed in a 2006 conference by academician Zhang Guitian

Space exploration


  • Project 921-1 — Shenzhou spacecraft
    Shenzhou spacecraft
    Shenzhou is a spacecraft developed and operated by the People's Republic of China to support its manned spaceflight program. The name is variously translated as "Divine Craft," "Divine Vessel of God," "Magic Boat" or similar and is also homophonous with an ancient name for China...

  • Project 921-2
    Project 921-2
    Tiangong is a space station program of the People's Republic of China, with the goal of creating a third generation space station, comparable to MIR. This program is autonomous and unconnected to any other international space-active countries...

     — Chinese Space Laboratory and Chinese Permanent Space Station short term and then permanent occupation
  • Shenzhou Cargo (货运飞船)— uncrewed version of the Shenzhou spacecraft to resupply the Chinese Permanent Space Station
  • Chinese Lunar Exploration Program
    Chinese Lunar Exploration Program
    Chinese Lunar Exploration Program , also known as the Chang'e program, is a program of robotic and human missions to the Moon undertaken by the China National Space Administration , the space agency of the People's Republic of China...

    • First phase lunar program (嫦娥-1 工程) — launched in 2007 with CZ-3A: two uncrewed lunar orbital probes
    • Second phase lunar program (嫦娥-2 工程)— to be launched in 2012 with CZ-5/E:first Moon landing of a couple of rovers
    • Third phase lunar program (嫦娥-3 工程) — to be launched in 2017 with CZ-5/E: automated Moon landing and return sample
    • Fourth phase lunar program (嫦娥-4 工程) — to be launched in 2024 with CZ-7: crewed mission and permanent bases (月面驻留)
  • Chinese Mars exploration program — Yinghuo-1 orbiter scheduled for launch in October 2009 in the joint Phobos-Grunt
    Phobos-Grunt
    Fobos-Grunt or Phobos-Grunt was an attempted Russian sample return mission to Phobos, one of the moons of Mars. It was launched on 9 November 2011 at 02:16 local time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, but subsequent rocket burns intended to set the craft on a course for Mars failed, leaving it...

     mission with Russia. Further planned missions include rover
    Rover (space exploration)
    A rover is a space exploration vehicle designed to move across the surface of a planet or other astronomical body. Some rovers have been designed to transport members of a human spaceflight crew; others have been partially or fully autonomous robots...

     landers and possible crewed missions in the far future. Anatoly Perminov
    Anatoly Perminov
    Dr. Prof. Anatoly Nikolayevich Perminov is a Russian rocket scientist and a mechanical engineer. He served as the General Director of Russian Federal Space Agency in 2004–2011.-Career:...

    , head of the Russian Space Agency has revealed in September 2006 in RIA Novosti that China was about to sign a contract by the end of 2006 to participate in a Russian project
    Phobos-Grunt
    Fobos-Grunt or Phobos-Grunt was an attempted Russian sample return mission to Phobos, one of the moons of Mars. It was launched on 9 November 2011 at 02:16 local time from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, but subsequent rocket burns intended to set the craft on a course for Mars failed, leaving it...

     to bring soil back to Earth
    Earth
    Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

     from Phobos
    Phobos (moon)
    Phobos is the larger and closer of the two natural satellites of Mars. Both moons were discovered in 1877. With a mean radius of , Phobos is 7.24 times as massive as Deimos...

    , one of Mars two moons. The mission will also collect samples on Mars, according to Xinhua.

  • Deep space exploration — spacefaring through the entire Solar system
    Solar System
    The Solar System consists of the Sun and the astronomical objects gravitationally bound in orbit around it, all of which formed from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud approximately 4.6 billion years ago. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun...


Research


The Center for Space Science and Applied Research (CSSAR), was founded in 1987 by merging the former Institute of Space Physics (i.e. the Institute of Applied Geophysics founded in 1958) and the Center for Space Science and Technology (founded in 1978). The research fields of CSSAR mainly cover 1. Space Engineering Technology; 2. Space Weather Exploration, Research, and Forecasting; 3. Microwave Remote Sensing and Information Technology.

See also

  • Beihang University
  • Chinese women in space
  • Harbin Institute of Technology
    Harbin Institute of Technology
    The Harbin Institute of Technology , or HIT, is colloquially known as Hagongda . It is a research university in the city of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China....


External links