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Book pays tribute to space program

By Yang Guang (China Daily)

09:12, June 20, 2012

China has taken a significant step in its space exploration with the successful launch of Shenzhou IX on Saturday.

The new book Song of Heaven: A Close Look at the Cradle of Chinese Rockets is a tribute to this historic moment.

Writers He Jianming and Li Tianquan spent half a year researching the more than 50-year history of the China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (CALT) and conducting interviews with its five generations of scientists to complete the 300,000-word report.

Established in 1957, CALT is known as the cradle of Chinese rockets. The late space scientist Qian Xuesen (1911-2009) was its first director.

The book reveals comprehensive stories that were once considered confidential. According to Li Guangya, former deputy Party secretary of CALT, China's space program aims to achieve three milestones in the next two decades. They are to build the country's own space station by 2020, to send Chinese astronauts to the moon by 2025 and to establish China's own global satellite navigation and positioning system.

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