New advance in space, new start for China

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China's unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou 8 landed in Siziwang Banner (county) in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at around 7:30 p.m., after completing the country's first-ever space docking mission. [Photo/Xinhua]

China's unmanned spacecraft Shenzhou 8 landed in Siziwang Banner (county) in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region at around 7:30 p.m., after completing the country's first-ever space docking mission. [Photo/Xinhua] 

The successful space docking mission, including the good launches, Shenzhou-8's precise docking with Tiangong-1 and the smooth retrieval of the re-entry capsule, marks a new start for China to acquire more sophisticated technologies to reach deep space.

With the latest space feat, China has become the third nation in the world to master advanced space docking technologies, which is a milestone for building any space stations.

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Many Chinese people have seen manned space adventure bringing them national dignity and pride since China initiated its ambitious manned space program in 1992.

To achieve the goal of sending Chinese astronauts into space, generations of talented scientists and technologists worked so hard and contributed their utmost.

The younger generation, the majority of which are around 30 years old, are aspiring even higher to realize the nation's shared dream of exploring more and more unknown in the heavens.

The scientists and technologists involved have turned their love for their motherland and the lofty cause of space faring into diligence and bravery in achieving technological breakthroughs.

From the increasingly powerful carrier rockets which can catapult spacecraft precisely into orbit, the home-grown androgynous docking mechanism, the unique three-cabin design of the Shenzhou spacecraft and the innovative multiple docking method with the same target orbiter, all are made by the Chinese own.

One new type of carrier rocket usually has 200,000 components and parts, and spacecraft has 100,000 ones. During one space mission, the flight command and control center often sends 1 million software instructions.

Therefore, credit should also be given to the working style of zero tolerance to defect and close cooperation among the hundreds of thousands staff members from more than 110 research institutions and 3,000 contributing organizations.

It is due to the great power and efficiency of nationwide cooperation among different organizations, which helps make breakthroughs in such a short period of time.

The top priority of China's manned space program is human. One major concern before the go-ahead with the first space docking is the care for astronauts' safety. The decision-makers thus chose the unmanned option in the first place. While controlling computers to fulfill the tough task, the engineers closely monitored internal environment of the spacecraft to test whether it is suitable to astronauts.

China for the first time allowed foreign research experiments to be conducted in Shenzhou spacecraft. All the 17 Sino-German cooperative experiments are for bio-science, results of which might benefit the human as a whole.

China has expressed willingness to work together with scientists from around the world to further manned space technology development and contribute more to the peaceful use of outer space for the welfare of the human kind.

Outer space is unlimited and mankind will not stop exploring space. For Chinese, every new achievement in space program means a new starting point.

It is foreseeable that following the successful space docking mission, the vast outer space will see a more active role of China: from conducting scientific experiments in its space station to launch orbiters to moon and even to Mars.

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