Astronautics

As the fifth country to develop and launch an independent man-made satellite, the third to master satellite recovery technology, China is in the world's front ranks in many important technological fields, including satellite recovery, the carrying of multiple satellites on one rocket, rocket technology, and the launch, test and control of static-orbit satellites. Great achievements have been made in remote-sensing satellites, communications satellites, and in manned space experiments.

-- Manned spacecraft. October 15, 2003 saw the successful launch of the first manned spacecraft "Shenzhou V", developed independently by China, at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, and following four unmanned launches between November 1999 and December 2002. "Shenzhou V" sent China's first astronaut into space and returned successfully, making China the world's third country to independently develop and deploy manned space flight technology. " Shengzhou VI", carrying two astronauts, successfully accomplished its space flight on October 12-17, 2005.

-- Man-made earth satellites. From the launch of its first man-made earth satellite "Dongfanghong No. 1" in April 1970 to the end of 2000, China successfully launched 75 satellites, including 48 developed by China itself and 27 commercial satellites for foreign customers. Fifteen types of satellite were launched in the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001-2005), including communications, navigation, meteorological, resource remote-sensing, and space survey satellites, representing half of all satellites launched in the past 30 years.

-- Carrier rockets. China has developed 12 models of the "Long March" carrier rocket series, and is able to launch low earth orbit, geostationary orbit, and sun-synchronous orbit satellites and spaceships. The successful launch rate is over 90 percent; between October 1996 and December 2004, "Long March" rockets made 83 launches. China's next step is to develop a new carrier rocket series. The Jiuquan, Xichang and Taiyuan satellite-launch centers are internationally recognized.

Source: China.org.cn