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China makes great strides in building space power

By Feng Hua, Zha Xi (People's Daily)    10:01, September 23, 2019

Photo taken by the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe on Jan. 11, 2019 shows the rover Yutu-2 (Jade Rabbit-2). [Photo: Xinhua/China National Space Administration]

Chinese lunar probe Chang’e-4 and lunar rover Yutu-2 woke up at 8:10 a.m. and 8:42 a.m. on Aug. 25 respectively after being switched to dormant mode, entering their ninth lunar day on the far side of the moon.

Traveling more than 400,000 kilometers, the Chang’e-4 probe left the Earth and touched down on the far side of the moon at 10: 26 a.m., Jan. 3 this year, and sent back the first-ever close-up photograph of the unexplored side of the moon via the relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge).

It marked the first time for a human spacecraft to have made a soft-landing on the far side of the moon, and the first time in human history to realize relay communication between Earth and the far side of the moon. A new chapter of lunar exploration was opened.

70 years ago when the People's Republic of China was just founded, the country’s space industry started from the lagged-behind technologies and "poor and blank" industrial base.

Thanks to the relentless efforts made by generations of aerospace researchers, the country finally made splendid achievements in this sphere, including the development of atomic and hydrogen bombs, missiles, man-made satellites, manned spaceflight and lunar probe.

It has opened up a path of self-reliance and independent innovation, and has created the spirit of country’s space industry.

China’s achievements in space industry are constantly renewed by its ongoing explorations. The country launched its first man-made satellite in 1970, and conducted its first manned spaceflight with the Shenzhou V spacecraft in 2003. Chinese astronaut made the first spacewalk in 2008 and finished the first manned rendezvous and docking mission 3 years later. In 2017, China carried out its first in-orbit refueling. Besides, the country has made lunar explorations using the Chang’e probe family, and is now planning to launch its first probe to explore Mars.

Making great strides in building itself into a space power, China has yielded remarkable results in space science, technology and application.

The space is limitless and so is the exploration. This year, China is set to complete a series of space missions including the launches of the Earth observation satellite Gaofen-7, the Beidou navigation satellites and Tianqin-1 gravitational wave-detection satellite. More and more marks will be left by China in the vast cosmos.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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