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Man-Made Satellites:From Dongfanghong to Beidou
UPDATED: October 13, 2010 Web Exclusive
Chronicle Events of China's Space Industry

In March 1956, the State Council drafted the Long-Range Program on the Development of Science and Technology Between 1956-67, which put forth the idea of gearing China's jetting and rocket technology onto the path of independent development in 12 years.

On October 8, 1956, China opens its first institute on missile and rocket research, the No.5 Research Institute under the Ministry of National Defense, with Qian Xuesen, a Chinese scientist who returns from the United States, as the director.

In January 1958, the Ministry of National Defense formulated the Outline of the Development of Jetting and Rocket Technology Between 1958-67.

In April 1958, the first carrier rocket launching ground began to be built.

On February 19, 1960, the experimental liquid fuel sounding rocket which was designed and manufactured by China itself made a successful launching. The sounding rocket made another successful launching in the following September.

On November 5, 1960, the P-2 missile which was modeled on the product of the former Soviet Union by the Chinese made its first successful launching experiment.

On March 21, 1962, the launching of the first short-and medium-range rocket independently developed by China failed.

On June 29, 1964, a Chinese-made medium- and short-range rocket made another launching and was successful.

On July 19, 1964, China's first biological rocket made a successful launch.

On October 27, 1966, the nuclear missile weapon launch was a success. The warhead accurately hit the target and exploded.

In November 1966, China began its research and development of the Long March 1 carrier rocket and Dongfanghong-1 man-made satellite.

On December 26, 1966, a medium-range rocket made its maiden flight, which was considered basically successful.

In 1967, the Peace-2 solid fuel meteorological rocket made a successful experimental launch.

On February 20, 1968, the Chinese Research Institute of Space Technology was established.

On April 1, 1968, the Institute of Space Medico-Engineering is established; the selection and training of astronauts as well as manned space flight medical engineering research is also conducted

On January 30, 1970, the medium- and long-range rocket made its first successful flight test.

On April 24, 1970, China successfully launches its first man-made satellite, Dongfanghong-1 aboard a Long March 1 rocket, becoming the fifth country to send a satellite into orbit.

On March 3, 1971, the Shijian-1 Scientific Experimental Satellite made a successful launch, and operated on a predetermined orbit for eight years.

On September 10, 1971, the continental rocket was basically successful on its first flight test.

On November 26, 1975, China launches its first recoverable satellite, which returned to Earth on November 29 as scheduled, becoming the third country able to operate recoverable satellites. For over 30 years, China has developed and launched 51 man-made earth satellites of 15 types, with a success rate of over 90 percent.

On January 7, 1979, the long-range rocket experimented with a new way of launching succeeded.

On May 18, 1980, China made a successful launch of a long-range carrier rocket to a predetermined area in the Pacific Ocean.

On September 20, 1981, China launched three scientific experimental satellites with one carrier rocket.

On October 12, 1982, a Chinese submarine made a successful underwater launching of a carrier rocket, and the recovery capsule fell in the predetermined sea area.

On April 8, 1984, the Long March 3 carrier rocket successfully sends Dongfanghong-2 experimental satellite into orbit, symbolizing China's space technology stepping into the application stage.

On February 1, 1986, China launched a practical communication broadcasting satellite.

On September 7, 1988, China's first experimental meteorological satellite Fengyun-1 was launched.

On December 25, 1988, the Chinese Academy of Sciences launched a Zhinu-1 rocket at the Hainan Sounding Rocket Launch Ground, which marked the successful ending of China's first rocket sounding experiment in the low-latitude area.

On April 7, 1990, the Long March 3 carrier rocket independently developed by China sent the U.S.-made Asia-1 communication satellite into fixed orbit, which was the first successful launching service for foreign customers.

On July 16, 1990, the Long March 2 cluster carrier rocket, China's newly developed huge thrust launching vehicle, made a successful launching and sent an analogue satellite into fixed orbit.

On January 22, 1991, Zhinu-3, the first 120-km high-altitude and low-latitude sounding rocket, was successfully launched.

In 1992, China lists manned space flight as one of its state projects, later named Shenzhou.

On May 2, 1998, the Long March 2C improved carrier rocket independently developed by China made a successful launching.

On November 20, 1999, China launches its Shenzhou-1 experimental spacecraft for the first time and the re-entry module lands the next day.

On January 10, 2001, the unmanned Shenzhou-2 spacecraft is successfully launched and the re-entry capsule returns to earth seven days later.

On March 25, 2002, China sends the unmanned Shenzhou-3 into orbit and the craft returns to earth, landing in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on April 1.

On December 30, 2002, Shenzhou-4, also an unmanned spacecraft, is successfully launched. And after circling the earth 108 times, the craft lands in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region on January 5, 2003.

On October 15, 2003, Shenzhou-5 blasts off into space from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, sending China's first astronaut Yang Liwei into orbit.

On October 12, 2005, Shenzhou-6 is launched, sending two astronauts, Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng, into space.

On October 24, 2007, the first unmanned lunar orbiter of the country, Chang'e-1, is launched.

On September 25, 2008, Shenzhou-7 blasts off, sending Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng into space. Zhai completes the country's first space walking on September 27, 2008.

On October 1, 2010, the second unmanned lunar orbiter Chang'e-2 is launched.

September 29, 2011: China's first unmanned space lab module, the Tiangong-1, or Heavenly Palace-1, was launched.

November 1, 2011: The unmanned Shenzhou-8 spacecraft was launched. Two days later, it successfully docked with the Tiangong-1.

June 16, 2012: The manned Shenzhou-9 spacecraft blasted off and made a successful automated docking with the Tiangong-1 two days later.

(Compiled from NO. 3, 2000, NO. 20, 2004, NO. 16, 2010 and Xinhua News Agency)

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