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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