Chinese space program

The Space of the People's Republic of China is under State control and is used by the Space Agency China National Space Administration ( CNSA short ) coordinates.

Powerful sounding rockets were launched from 1960, the first Chinese satellite of the Earth in April 1970. Additional highlights in 1990, the first communications satellite, AsiaSat -1 and 2003, the first taikonauts. The moon program began in 2007 with an orbiter and looks around 2014, the removal of a Lunar Rover and rock analyzes ago.

On the moon program 2006, numerous institutes worked from about 20 universities. The scientists involved are subject to a particularly strict confidentiality, as in the Soviet Union until the turn of 1990.

History of modern space

Since the 1960s, the People's Republic of China developed their own launchers, most models are under the name of Chang Zheng (abbreviated CZ, dt Long March, LM) known. These are used in addition to the transport of satellites for the manned space program. Trigger for your own path was the rupture between China and the USSR by Mao Zedong. Until that time, China was the missiles from the USSR.

As actual birth of the Chinese aerospace applies According to Franz Ehart's article " The Chinese aerospace " October 8, 1956 that day., The "Rocket Research Institute No. 5" was founded. It was subordinated to the Ministry of Defence, ten research institutes were affiliated. Most important people were the two scientist Qian Xuesen and Ren Xinmin, who had worked in the 1940s at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, USA.

On February 19, 1960 launched the first Chinese -operated liquid sounding rocket of the " T7 -M" from the rocket launch site Shijiedu. Since the year 1968, there were also plans for a manned space program. The Shuguang spacecraft was originally intended to transport two astronauts into space, but political and economic reasons did the project 714, as it is officially called, fail.

Took place on 24 April 1970, a rocket -type CZ- 1, the first satellite launch. There the experimental satellite Dong Fang Hong I was transported from the Baikonur Jiuquan into space. 1975 was the first time, a payload retrieve back to earth. A new rocket type CZ -2C launched on November 26th of the year for this mission. At the time, this ability was militarily important, but so you could get back film cassettes with strategically important photographs and evaluate.

1980 plans for a manned space flight were adjusted for the time being. Hans -Georg Urbin, Fulda, speaks in his essay " The Shenzhou program " of various reasons, but without executing it closer.

Took place on April 7, 1990 with the launch of the satellite AsiaSat - 1, the first commercial satellite launch. He was from the start Xichang center with a launcher of the type CZ- third

In 1993, the Chinese space agency CNSA was founded a year ago saw the launch of the project " 921-1 ", which provided for the launch of a manned spacecraft. From the spaceships Shenzhou series originated.

In 1996, a false start a rocket of the type " CZ -3B " occurred with an Intelsat satellite, as the rocket crashed into a nearby village shortly after the start. Probably many people have died in the explosion of the rocket fuel killed. Many international customers saw then on further bookings.

In 1998 there was a restructuring of the Chinese space agency. The lightweight launcher KT -1 suffered in 2002 and 2003, two false starts.

On October 15, 2003, creates China for the first time with its own forces to transport people into space. Aboard Shenzhou 5, which was launched on this day, there was Yang Liwei, who completed a 21- hour flight. The second manned space flight Shenzhou 6 was carried out on 12 October 2005, this time for the first time flew two space travelers, the start was first broadcast live on state television. On 25 September 2008 Shenzhou 7 was launched with three taikonauts, the first Chinese spacewalk was conducted.


Chinese astronauts are called in the West taikonauts. So far, there are eight taikonauts with inserts in space Yang Liwei ( Shenzhou 5), Fei and Nie Haisheng Junlong (both Shenzhou 6), Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming (both Shenzhou 7), Jing Haipeng ( Shenzhou 7 and 9) and Liu Wang and Liu Yang ( Shenzhou 9). The missions Shenzhou Shenzhou 8 and 1-4 were unmanned.

Start centers

Currently, three starting centers for the carrier rocket Long march are used:

  • For geostationary satellites: the Baikonur Xichang in Sichuan Province.
  • For satellites in sun-synchronous polar orbits: the Baikonur Taiyuan in Shanxi Province.
  • For satellites in orbits with moderate inclination and for manned flights to the manned Shenzhou spacecraft: the Jiuquan spaceport in the region of Inner Mongolia. It was opened in 1956 and is the oldest and largest spaceport China.

For particularly heavy payloads is the southern spaceport of China, the Baikonur Wenchang on Hainan under construction. It is only 19 degrees of latitude from the equator and will be operational in 2013.

Current and Future Development

Rocket development

Program for the exploration of the Moon

That the CNSA program for exploration of the Moon consists of four phases:

  • Phase 1: First, the deployment of unmanned probe Chang'e - 1 takes place in lunar orbit. The launch took place on 24 October 2007. The purpose of the probe is a Orbiter mission, this data should be obtained from the surface.
  • Phase 2: From 2009 to 2015 is to be allowed to land a lunar rover on the moon's surface. The lander will bring an automatic inspection apparatus for experiments on the lunar surface. There are the ambient conditions and the lunar rocks are analyzed. But the most important part of the mission is to be the first realization of a landing on the lunar surface and scientific research. In July 2006, about 20 universities and institutions working on the design of the lunar rover.
  • Phase 3: By 2020, one wants to perform a mission, the collecting rock samples on the moon and return them to Earth. This mission will acquire data for a possible site of a manned moon station detail. Should it succeed to develop nuclear fusion reactors for the deuterium - tritium fusion, the extraction of helium -3 could be economically interesting moon. In terms of the current energy needs of the People's Republic of China, this would correspond to an annual 3 tons of helium-3 as a fusion fuel.
  • Phase 4: On June 19, 2006 called a high-ranking official representative of the government newspaper " Wen Wei Po " in Hong Kong in 2024 as a date for a manned landing on the moon. This program would be officially launched when in March or April 2007, the Chinese unmanned lunar probe, Chang'e -1 launch to the moon.

According to a statement by Ouyang Ziyuan, the chief scientist of the lunar probe project, in August 2005, the People's Republic of China will carry out various projects in the areas of materials research, momentum, rotation, astronomy and others. Furthermore, China has developed a number of scenarios for future lunar exploration that will be working with various appliances for a lunar radar and infrared spectrum.

According to a report in the People's Daily from May 2006, the People's Republic of China will launch more satellites by 2011, which will study the moon's surface and the geological structures in order to produce a three-dimensional high-resolution map.

Manned space flight program

The next targets in human spaceflight is to build a manned space station and a manned landing on the moon. In addition to the 12 taikonauts that were selected in 1998, another group is formed of seven astronaut candidates ( five men and two women). In addition, currently running yet another selection process, which has 45 candidates on the shortlist, from which a further Taikonautengruppe is formed.


The first spacewalk by a Chinese taikonauts took place at the Shenzhou -7 mission on 27 September 2008.

Construction of a space station

On the International Space Station is the country not involved because of concerns on the part of the United States, but China has its own space station named Tiangong 1 your launch aboard a Long March 2F launch vehicle took place on 29 September 2011 at 13:16 UTC clock.

The launch of Tiangong 1 was followed by the unmanned Shenzhou 8 mission, which first performed a docking with the space station in orbit. The subsequent manned mission, Shenzhou 9 is started on 16 June 2012 with the aim to repeat the docking maneuver and occupy Tiangong 1. In planning is already the next manned mission, Shenzhou 10 The distances between each mission to be shorter in the future.

In planning is already the space station Tiangong 2 and 3 as well as a large space station in 2020, consisting of several modules.

Program to explore the sun

In 2012, China was planning the launch of three spacecraft, which should examine more closely the Sun-Earth system in the research mission Kuafu; has been postponed to 2017.

The White Paper on China's Space Activities (October 2006)

On 12 October 2006, the Information Office of the State Council of the People's Republic has submitted a new white paper titled "China's Space Activities in 2006 ". The document is divided into five sections: objectives and principles of development; The progress in the past five years; Development objectives and main tasks for the next five years; Basics of development and measures; International exchange and cooperation. - China has always pursued the path of peaceful development, so occasion of the presentation, and always maintained the position that the "Space for the purpose of the common welfare of mankind should be explored ." The last White Paper was published in 2000; since the Chinese space have made ​​great progress.

In the document, the leadership of the People's Republic reaffirms its intention to develop its own satellite navigation system called Beidou, although the country is already involved in the European Galileo project. Observers see another competitor in Europe in building a GNSS very critical; the business model for financing would be potentially difficult to implement. They also represent the extent to which the People's Republic of China could pull off know- how from Europe.

Also, the development of existing launchers is held in the White Paper as a target; both the military and commercial activities will be developed further, they say.