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China's First Space Textbook Published
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The formerly classified manuscript written by the father of China's space and missile industry has been published.


Qian Xuesen's manuscript entitled A General Introduction to the Missile hit the shelves in Beijing on Friday, 50 years after Qian first used it to teach 156 university students, China's first generation of space scientists.  

"The manuscript was China's first textbook on space and missiles but it was defined as a classified document in 1956," said Shi Lei, vice president of the China Astronautic Publishing House, the book's publisher.


"Although the content of A General Introduction to Missile was passed on by word of mouth between different generations of Chinese space scientists, few people ever saw the manuscript," Shi said.


"The publishing of the book marks the 50th anniversary of China's space industry and the 95th anniversary of Qian's birth," he said.


Born in 1911 in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, Qian Xusen, or Tsien Hsue-sen, left for the United States after winning a scholarship in 1936. He earned a doctorate and became a professor at the California Institute of Technology. In October 1955, Qian and his family returned to Beijing.


He led the development of China's first nuclear-armed ballistic missiles and worked on its first satellite, launched in 1970.


Qian retired in 1991. His research formed the basis for the Long March CZ-2F rocket that carried China's astronaut Yang Liwei into orbit.


An autographed copy by Qian was given to the National Museum of China.


(Xinhua News Agency November 18, 2006)

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