BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhuanet) -- The following are the
major eventsin China's space technology development since the 1950s:
Oct. 8, 1956: China opens its first institute on
missile and rocket research, the No. 5 Research Institute attached to the
Ministry of National Defense, with Qian Xuesen, a Chinese scientist who returned
from the United States, as the first director.
July 19, 1964: A biological rocket carrying albino
rats is launched successfully from Guangde County in east China's Anhui
Province, an important step forward in China's space exploration.
April 1, 1968: An institute for spaceflight-oriented
medical engineering opens in Beijing, charged with conducting research into
April 24, 1970: China becomes the fifth country to
send a satellite into orbit, as the DFH-1 scientific experimental satellite
lifts off aboard a Long March rocket.
Nov. 26, 1975: China launches its first recoverable
satellite, which returns to earth three days later, and becomes the third
country able to operate recoverable satellites.
Sept. 7, 1988: China launches meteorological satellite
FY-1A atTaiyuan launch base, north China's Shanxi Province.
April 7, 1990: A Long March CZ-3 sends AsiaSat-1
communication satellite into orbit, marking the start of China's commercial
July 16, 1990: China launches Long March CZ-2E, a
cluster carrier rocket, laying a foundation for manned spacecraft launches.
1992: China lists manned spaceflight as one of its
state projects, later named Shenzhou (Divine Vessel).
Nov. 20, 1999: China launches its Shenzhou
experimental spacecraft for the first time and the re-entry module lands in
central Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region the next day.
Jan. 10, 2001: Shenzhou-2 experimental spacecraft
launches successfully and the re-entry capsule returns to earth on Jan. 16 in
central Inner Mongolia after carrying out scientific research projects.
March 25, 2002: China sends unmanned Shenzhou-3 into
orbit and after circling the earth 108 times, the craft returns to earth,
landing in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on April 1.
Dec. 30, 2002: Shenzhou-4, also an unmanned spacecraft, also launches
Oct. 15, 2003: Shenzhou-5 blasts off into space from Jiuquan launch center,
and China sends its first astronaut into orbit. Enditem