May 21, 2002
CHINESE ASTRONAUT TRAIN IN SECRET
BEIJING (AP) _ Training in secret, a dozen fighter pilots are getting ready to make history as China's first astronauts.
Two attended Russia's cosmonaut school, but little else is known about them. China's communist government, pursuing a unique, costly propaganda prize and worried about embarrassing setbacks, hasn't announced their names or a launch date.
But with confidence growing after three test launches of empty spacecraft, foreign experts say China's astronauts could carry its gold-starred red flag into space as early as this year.
May 20, 2002
CHINA SETS DATE FOR THE MOON
China says it is planning to establish a base on the Moon to exploit its mineral resources.
Beijing has not yet put a human into space, but scientists say they expect to do so within three years and they have outlined an ambitious programme for the future.
CHINA EYES MOON LANDING MISSION IN 2010
May 20, 2002
BEIJING (Reuters) -- China plans to launch its first mission to the moon in 2010 and to establish a base there, the China Daily said on Monday.
May 20, 2002
CHINA PLANS TO BUILD MOON BASE
Confirming the expectations of some in the Western world, China announced Sunday the goal of their space program is to construct a base on the Moon in order to exploit its mineral resources.
October 6, 2000
CHINA PLANS LUNAR LANDINGS
BEIJING (AP) -- China's budding space program plans to explore the moon for commercially useful resources and hopes one day to take part in an international expedition to Mars, members of the secretive program said Wednesday.
Speeches at a bland forum by the head of the State Aerospace Bureau and a key researcher gave rare glimpses into the military-dominated program.
Although details were few, the experts made one thing clear: China sees piloted spaceflight as key to securing its international stature and economic survival.
U N I V E R S E
T O D A Y
Space Exploration News From Around the Internet, Updated Every Weekday.
October 4, 2000 - Issue #317
CHINESE LAUNCH PLANS ARE SECRETIVE AND AMBITIOUS
Officials from the Chinese Space Agency released more details about the
plans for its manned space program at a recent forum. Their plans include
manned spaceflight, exploration of the moon, and contribution to international
activities to explore Mars. Exactly what form their involvement and exploration
will take remained vague.
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NEWSALERT: Tuesday, July 4, 2000 @ 0926 GMT
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REPORT: CHINESE READY TO TEST ENHANCED MANNED CRAFT
China is nearing readiness to launch a much more high-tech version of
its older Shenzhou spacecraft, published news reports say. The new
capsule is designed to carry up to three "taikonauts" on a manned
November 21, 1999
China made its debut in the space race
China successfully completed the first test launch in its manned space flight program. An unmanned space vehicle returned to earth after orbiting our planet 14 times.
Named Shenzhou ("Divine Ship"), the space craft landed Saturday, November 20 at 19:41 GMT after a 21-hour flight, China's state news agency Xinhua reported.
Chinese space officials said that China will launch its first manned space flight early next century. Several unmanned flights would precede this.
The Shenzou spacecraft was launched with the new generation Long March 2-F rocket from the new Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, China's third rocket launch center.
Ten minutes after takeoff, the spaceship detached itself from the launching vehicle and entered a preset orbit. The space craft orbited the earth at an altitude of 300 kilometers.
The re-entry capsule resembled the Apollo series of capsules launched by NASA in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Three parachutes aided the landing of the vehicle and four retro rockets fired just before touch down.
The spacecraft was developed and manufactured mainly by the China Research Institute of Carrier Rocket Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, the Chinese Research Institute of Space Technology and the Shanghai Research Institute of Astronautical Technology.
China has launched almost 300 satellites into space since the early 1970s. Some 25 were for commercial use.16 out of 17 retrievable Chinese satellites have successfully returned to earth.
TSE - THE SPACE EXPERIENCE
June 28, 1999
U.S. and British space experts believe China has the expertise and equipment to launch, orbit and retrieve a manned vehicle. China's first test launch of an unmanned capsule is set for October to honor the 50th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Reports indicate China hopes to build a full space program, including an orbiting space station and a space shuttle-type craft, and to dispatch a robot moon probe.
"They're about to enter a very unique club," says James Oberg, a Houston space consultant and author. "They're doing this primarily for status."
China had hoped to put a two-man crew into space by October, but technical problems with the booster rocket has delayed the launch up to 12 months, says Phillip Clark, a British space consultant and expert on the Chinese program.
Details of "Project 921" are sketchy. Analysts rely largely on information from Chinese speeches, technical papers, the state-run media and Western intelligence reports:
China has a newly built launch pad large enough to handle manned spacecraft at Jiuquan, in northwest China. Photos of the pad and an unmanned rocket, reportedly taken by a contract worker, surfaced several months ago on the Internet. Experts believe the photos are legitimate.
The rocket in the photo is a new type of Chinese space vehicle called the Chang Zheng (Long March) 2F, large enough to put a manned spacecraft into orbit.
For the first time, China plans to deploy three tracking ships in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans to relay data to China from the Project 921 spacecraft.
The project is based largely on technology China has purchased from Russia, aerospace experts believe.
The craft's two astronauts, called "taikonauts," were trained in Russia. "Taikong" means space or cosmos.
China is not a member of the 16-nation, U.S.-led International Space Station. No Chinese citizens have ever been launched into orbit.