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A brief history of China's space program


04-24-2016 19:32 BJT

Full coverage: China Astronautics Day

China has launched over 200 satellites, ten spacecrafts, and one experimental space station since 1979. We take a look at its space program through the years. 

On April 24, 1970, the Dongfanghong One -- China's first satellite -- was successfully launched.

China became the fifth country to launch its own satellite.

In 1992, China's first human spaceflight project was initiated.

In 1999, Shenzhou One, China's first unmanned experimental spaceship was launched. 3 other similar Shenzhou spaceship launches subsequently followed.

On October 15, 2003, Shenzhou Five, China's first human spaceflight mission, was launched, with astronaut Yang Liwei.

In 2005, Shenzhou Six took two astronauts out to space over five days.

Three years later in 2008, Shenzhou Seven permormed the first Chinese extra-vehicular activity.

And a milestone in 2011. The unmanned Shenzhou Eight successfully docked with the Tiangong-One, China's first space laboratory.

Meanwhile, the manned Shenzhou Nine mission docked in 2012, with China's first female astronaut on board.

The third mission to Tiangong-One, the manned Shenzhou Ten, docked in 2013.

And in terms of lunar exploration. In 2007, China's lunar exploration program was initiated. On October 24, China's first lunar probe, Chang'e One spacecraft was successfully launched, starting what would be a long-term, three-stage project.

On December 14, 2013, Chang'e Three landed on the lunar surface, incorporating a robotic lander and China's first lunar rover, Yutu.

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