Since its birth 40 years ago, the Shanghai Academy of Space Flight Technology has played a major role in building China's space program and bringing the country closer to launching its first manned spacecraft.
A thousand top space flight scientists and government officials gathered together last Friday to celebrate the agency's achievements and mark its anniversary. The celebrations, featuring singing and dancing by local performers, was taped for broadcast as part of a National Day special on October 1.
The space agency was recognized for its role in building China's first launch vehicle for a rocket capable of carrying multiple satellites, and designing and building the Fengyun 1C, the only Chinese satellite used as a world operational orbiter by the World Meteorological Organization. Fifty-one of the academy's to presearchers were singled out for praise.
"Academy staff have made a decisive contribution to the country's space industry and local economy," Shanghai's Party Secretary Huang Ju said in a letter of congratulations. "They've also played a pioneering role in improving the nation's defense through technology innovation."
The academy, which now employs over 6,000 scientists in the city, is one of China's key space flight research centers.