China's space exploration journey

2013-12-02 07:56:46 GMT2013-12-02 15:56:46(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English
File photo taken on June 9, 2012 shows the Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft, the Long March-2F rocket, and the escape tower are vertically transferred to the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin) File photo taken on June 9, 2012 shows the Shenzhou-9 manned spacecraft, the Long March-2F rocket, and the escape tower are vertically transferred to the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)
Chinese taikonaut Zhai Zhigang, dressed in his space suit, emerges from a simulated Shenzhou-7 capsule and waves a national flag, recreating his historical moment on Sept. 27, 2008, during the parade of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, on Chang'an Avenue in central Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 1, 2009. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Fei Maohua) Chinese taikonaut Zhai Zhigang, dressed in his space suit, emerges from a simulated Shenzhou-7 capsule and waves a national flag, recreating his historical moment on Sept. 27, 2008, during the parade of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, on Chang'an Avenue in central Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 1, 2009. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Fei Maohua)
File photo taken on Sept. 20, 2011 shows a Long March 2F carrier rocket loaded with File photo taken on Sept. 20, 2011 shows a Long March 2F carrier rocket loaded with "Tiangong-1", China's unmanned space module, stands in the vertical assembly factory at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Qin Xian'an)
This combined photo taken on June 16, 2012 shows the process of the launch of Long March-2F carrier rocket carrying China's manned Shenzhou-9 spacecraft from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province. Shenzhou-9 spacecraft accurately entered its orbit after the launch. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Li Gang) (zgp/lfj) This combined photo taken on June 16, 2012 shows the process of the launch of Long March-2F carrier rocket carrying China's manned Shenzhou-9 spacecraft from the launch pad at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province. Shenzhou-9 spacecraft accurately entered its orbit after the launch. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Li Gang) (zgp/lfj)
File photo taken on June 12, 2012 shows Chinese astronaut Liu Yang waves as she attends a drill in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province. Liu Yang, 34, is one of the three taikonauts who was carried by the Shenzhou-9 spaceship for China's first manned space docking mission with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab module. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin) File photo taken on June 12, 2012 shows Chinese astronaut Liu Yang waves as she attends a drill in Jiuquan, northwest China's Gansu Province. Liu Yang, 34, is one of the three taikonauts who was carried by the Shenzhou-9 spaceship for China's first manned space docking mission with the orbiting Tiangong-1 space lab module. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Wang Jianmin)
File photo taken on June 24, 2012 shows the screen showing Chinese astronauts Liu Wang, Jing Haipeng and Liu Yang (C) wave after they succeed in mannually docking the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and the Tiangong-1 space lab module. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Wang Yongzhuo) File photo taken on June 24, 2012 shows the screen showing Chinese astronauts Liu Wang, Jing Haipeng and Liu Yang (C) wave after they succeed in mannually docking the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft and the Tiangong-1 space lab module. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Wang Yongzhuo)
This undated photo shows three taikonauts Jing Haipeng (C), Liu Wang (R) and Liu Yang attending a training of manual rendezvous and docking. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Qin Xian'an) This undated photo shows three taikonauts Jing Haipeng (C), Liu Wang (R) and Liu Yang attending a training of manual rendezvous and docking. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Qin Xian'an)
File photo taken on June 18, 2012 shows the screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center showing Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang at the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming) File photo taken on June 18, 2012 shows the screen at the Beijing Aerospace Control Center showing Chinese astronauts Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang at the orbiting Tiangong-1 lab module. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
File photo taken on June 16, 2012 shows staff members prepare for the launch of China's manned Shenzhou-9 spacecraft, at the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center, in Beijing, capital of China. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming) File photo taken on June 16, 2012 shows staff members prepare for the launch of China's manned Shenzhou-9 spacecraft, at the Beijing Aerospace Flight Control Center, in Beijing, capital of China. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Zha Chunming)
File photo taken on Nov. 4, 2011 shows Wang Yue (C), a Chinese participant of the Mars-500 crew, waves as he emerging from the Mars-500 isolation facility in Moscow, capital of Russia. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Li Yong) File photo taken on Nov. 4, 2011 shows Wang Yue (C), a Chinese participant of the Mars-500 crew, waves as he emerging from the Mars-500 isolation facility in Moscow, capital of Russia. The return of the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft to Earth on June 30, 2012 marked the end of a 13-day journey through space for three Chinese astronauts. But it also marked the beginning of a new journey for China as it inches closer to its goal of building a space station. The recent successful docking of the Shenzhou-9 and Tiangong-1 lab module marked a new height for Chinese space exploration, as well as a new leap forward for national rejuvenation. China's space exploration took a long time to ramp up. On July 16, 1990, China launched a Long March-2, a cluster carrier rocket, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China's Sichuan Province, laying the foundation for manned spacecraft launches. On Nov. 20, 1999, a Long March-2F rocket blasted off at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwest China's Gansu Province, carrying China's first Shenzhou spacecraft into the space, which returned to earth after 14 orbits. On Jan. 10, 2001, China sent Shenzhou-2, the first formally unmanned spaceship, into the space, carried by a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It was followed by the launch of Shenzhou-3 and Shenzhou-4 in 2002. On Oct. 15, 2003, China conducted its first manned space mission with Shenzhou-5, which was carried into space by a Long March 2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Yang Liwei, then 38, was onboard the spacecraft and returned after 21 hours and 14 trips around the Earth. On Oct. 12, 2005, a Long March-2F carrier sent Shenzhou-6 into orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, China's second spaceflight. Astronauts Fei Junlong and Nie Haisheng were aboard. On Sept. 25, 2008, China used a Long March-2F rocket to lift the spacecraft Shenzhou-7 into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. Zhai Zhigang successfully completed China's first-ever space walk. China became the third country in the world to conduct extravehicular activity in space, following the Soviet Union and the United States. On Sept. 29, 2011, China launched its first space lab module Tiangong-1, which was carried by a Long March-2F rocket into space from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. It aimed to test the first space docking with Shenzhou-8, paving the way for China to operate a permanent space station around 2020, which would make it the world's third country to do so. (Xinhua/Li Yong)
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