The Chinese launched their first gunpowder rockets in the third century B.C. However, they joined the space race late, slowly but surely.
China's space program is carried out through the National Space Administration of China (CNSA). He began taking his first steps in 1956. In 1999 a rocket was launched into space that disintegrated in March 2000. In October 2003, the Shenzhou-5 ship became the first manned Chinese flight. In 2007, the Chang'e-1 was launched, and on September 27, 2008, the Taikonaut Zhai Zhigang walked for 15 minutes in space.
In September 2011, the Tiangong-1 orbital module was launched, and on June 16, 2012, the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft was launched, with the first Chinese astronaut on board, Liu Yang.
Chinese lunar project
One of the most ambitious programs in China is the Lunar Exploration program. It is a program integrated by robotic exploration and manned missions, and managed by the Chinese National Space Administration. For robotic exploration they will have lunar orbiters, lunar robots and probes, which will take samples of the lunar soil to Earth. For manned missions they intend to use the Shenzhou spacecraft, which will be launched with an adaptation of the Long March 3A rocket.
The current Chinese Astronautics
China is becoming a superpower in space exploration, thanks to its economic push. He currently ranks third in the space race, only behind the United States and Russia.
China currently maintains the Tiangong 1 (TG-1) space station in orbit since 2011. Three Chinese ships have already visited this space laboratory, the Shenzhou 8, unmanned, in 2011; the Shenzhou 9, with three astronauts, in 2012, and the manned ship Shenzhou 10, in June 2013.
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