China is for the first time ready to pass a law governing conduct in outer space, according to the country's first astronaut. Yang Liwei made these comments when speaking at the Southwest University of Political Science and Law as China's bold race into space is causing widespread international concern.
Yang, who holds the honor of being China's first man in space back in 2003, revealed that the law would determine how to best "protect the space environment, reduce or eradicate fragments in space and expand international cooperation."
Details about the law have not yet been made public but Yang issued a call for all students to pour their wisdom and energy into China's space technology. China's space plans face increasing international scrutiny amid fears about a potential space arms race with the United States and other powers.
According to the report from Reuter, in December, China launched a ground-based ballistic missile to pulverize one of its own weather satellites about 537 miles above the Earth in a demonstration of its ability to attack low-orbit satellites.
Actually, the so-called ground-based ballistic missile is the second geostationary orbit meteorological satellite, Fengyun-2D (FY-2D), due to improve weather forecasting ahead of the Beijing Olympic Games.
The chief designer of the FY-2D Li Qin introduced the satellite as "monitoring weather changes over all Olympic venues. The FY-2D will provide accurate and timely information about weather changes to help us during the Games, especially during the crucial opening and closing ceremonies."
China is the third country in the history of the world to put a man in space after the former Soviet Union and United States, and it launched a second manned space flight in 2005. This success may soon be capitalized upon with a manned mission to the moon in the pipeline for China's taikonauts.
The moon probe project will mark the third milestone in China's space technology after satellite launches and manned space flight, according to Sun Laiyan, chief of the China National Space Administration, adding that it would double over as a first step towards deep space exploration.
(China.org.cn by Wang Ke, June 11, 2007)