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Tiangong-1 Lifts Off
Cover Stories Series 2011> Tiangong-1 Lifts Off
UPDATED: October 10, 2011 NO. 41 OCTOBER 13, 2011
China's Milestones in Space

October 8, 1956: An institute on missile and rocket research is established.

July 19, 1964: A rocket carrying albino rats is successfully launched.

April 1, 1968: An institute for spaceflight-oriented medical engineering is set up.

April 24, 1970: The Dong Fang Hong-1 scientific experimental satellite lifts off aboard a Long March rocket.

November 26, 1975: China's first recoverable satellite is launched.

September 7, 1988: A meteorological satellite, Feng Yun 1-A, is launched.

April 7, 1990: A Long March CZ 3 rocket sends the AsiaSat 1 communication satellite into orbit, marking the beginning of China's commercial launch service.

July 16, 1990: The Long March CZ 2-E cluster carrier rocket enters service, which is able to send a spacecraft into space.

November 20, 1999: The unmanned Shenzhou 1 spacecraft is launched.

January 10, 2001: The unmanned Shenzhou 2 enters space.

March 25, 2002: The unmanned Shenzhou 3 spacecraft is launched.

December 30, 2002: The unmanned Shenzhou 4 spacecraft is launched.

October 15, 2003: The Shenzhou 5 spacecraft blasts off into space, with Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut aboard.

October 12, 2005: The Shenzhou 6 spacecraft is launched, sending two astronauts, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng, into space.

October 24, 2007: China's first unmanned lunar orbiter, Chang'e-1, lifts off.

September 25, 2008: The Shenzhou 7 spacecraft blasts off, sending Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng into space. Zhai completes China's first space walk on September 27, 2008.

October 1, 2010: Chang'e-2 lunar probe is lifted into space by a Long March 3 carrier rocket, marking the beginning of the second phase of China's lunar probe project.

September 29, 2011: China's first unmanned space module Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace-1, is launched from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu Province.

(Source: Xinhua News Agency)

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