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Published: 18:25, June 23, 2021, Updated: 18:27, June 23, 2021
3 milestones in China’s aerospace exploration
By Gang Wen
Published:18:25, June 23, 2021 Updated:18:27, June 23, 2021 By Gang Wen

Yang Liwei, China’s first astronaut, smiles at workers after the Shenzhou V manned spaceship successfully landed on the designated site in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region on Oct 16, 2003. (XU JINGXING / CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG - “There are three dates that I would like everyone to remember. They mark the time when Chinese are able to explore space resources,” said Qi Faren, first chief designer of China's Shenzhou spaceship, at a lecture in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Wednesday.

Here are the three dates mentioned by Qi:

April 24, 1970: The successful launch of the Dongfanghong-1, the country's first man-made satellite, making China the fifth country in the world to develop and launch a man-made satellite on its own, a feat heralded as the country's first step in exploring outer space.

Oct 15, 2003: The successful launch of the Shenzhou-5 spacecraft, carrying Yang Liwei, the nation’s first astronaut to enter outer space, making China the third country to acquire manned space travel technology on its own.

Oct 24, 2007:  China launched its first lunar probe, Chang'e-1, making China the fifth country to develop and launch a lunar probe on its own.

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