China solicits names for manned space station

15:32, April 26, 2011      

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China officially initiated soliciting names for the country’s first manned space station from Chinese people around the world on Monday. The activity will take place over several months.

An official micro-blog was launched to solicit name and logo for the space station.

Wang Wenbao, director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO), said during a news conference that China’s manned space station program should also have a distinctive logo to match its magnificent blueprint, and that China’s manned space station should also have an inspiring name. He said, “Meanwhile, we are aware that the name and logo should be set largely based on public opinion.”

The activity will advance the popularity of scientific and technological knowledge on manned space flight and promote the public attention and interest in space flights, particularly in the younger generation, said Yang Liwei, China's first astronaut and deputy director of the CMSEO.

To promote public attention and participation, the organizing committee has not only opened official homepages on industry Web sites such as, but has also partnered with Tencent to enable Chinese people around the world to submit their work and to gather opinions using online polls through Tencent’s and mobile phone Web site

Participants can also send emails as well as mail discs or written material to the organizing committee.

The official micro-blog opened by the organizing committee on had already about 20,000 followers as of April 25.

Space rendezvous and docking experiment to be implemented in 2011

Preparations for the Tiangong-1 and Shenzhou-8 shuttle missions are now in progress and the first space rendezvous and docking experiment will be implemented in the second half of 2011.

Zhou Jianping, general designer of the China's manned space program, said that the rendezvous and docking is one of the three basic techniques of the manned space flight. It involves two spacecraft and has high technical difficulties in control. In addition, the system and technology are more complex.

The rendezvous requires the two spacecraft to join together while in orbit through independent measurements to support astronauts to remain in orbit. The progress of this technology in China is relatively smooth, and related spacecraft products such as the Shenzhou-8, Shenzhou-9, Shenzhou-10 and Tiangong-1, as well as corresponding carrier rockets are in the tense production and test stage, and there will be more missions in the future.

The Shenzhou-9 and Shenzhou-10 are expected to launch in 2012. According to plans, China's manned space station will be completed around 2020.

Wang said that China will continue to develop cooperation opportunities with Russia, the European Space Agency, Germany, France and Canada in the construction and operation of space stations as well as the implementation of space experiments in the future.

By People's Daily Online
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