Space industry of China

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On Oct. 8th, 1956, the founding of China's first rocket research institution—the fifth Academy of the Ministry of National Defense saw the birth of the China's space industry. The Academy worked by means of "self-dependency, seeking foreign assistance and taking advantage of developed countries existing techniques".

Based on 1957 New Technique Convention signed between China and former USSR, the former USSR would help China develop rocket research, establish testing institutes and clone USSR-made missiles by 1960. After former USSR experts withdrew and all assistance ceased, the first short range ground-to-ground missile modeled by China was successfully launched on November 5th 1960, marking a milestone in the history of Chinese rocket technology. The successful launch of the country's first self-developed liquid propulsion rocket in February 1962 was a key step in the history of China's space industry.

In June of 1964, the first self-developed ballistic missile was successfully launched, bringing the space industry to a new stage of development.

On November 23th, 1964, the State Council decided to set up the seventh Ministry of Machine-Building Industries. In April 1970, a Long March 1 rocket successfully launched the nation's first man-made satellite, Dongfanghong 1 and China became the fifth country capable of launching their own satellites with their own rockets.

In November 1975, a Long March 2 rocket successfully launched China's first recoverable satellite and the country became the third with the capacity to launch recoverable satellites, after America and the former USSR.

On April 13th, 1982, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China announced their desire for a Ministry of Space Industry. On July 5th, 1988, the Ministry of Aerospace Industry was founded. In June of 1993, China Aerospace Industry Corporation (National Space Bureau) was founded in Beijing.

By 1998, 16 recoverable satellites had been successfully launched by China, with a 100% recovery rate, which is a rare accomplishment for any space program.

In April 1984, a Long March 3 carrier rocket successfully launched the first domestically built communications satellite into geosynchronous orbit. This was taken as confirmation that China's carrier rocket technology had advanced to international levels. In October of the following year, it was announced that Chinese rockets had entered the international market, and were available to launch foreign satellites. In April of 1990, a Long March 3 rocket successfully launched the AsiaSat 1 satellite built by America's Hughes Company for Asia Satellite Telecommunications Holdings Limited. This was China's first commercial launch of a foreign satellite. When in May 1998, a modified Long March 2C rocket was successfully launched for the fourth time from the Taiyuan satellite launch center, China's competence in the commercial market place for medium and low-earth satellite launches was confirmed.

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