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CHINA MAKES BIGGEST MARK ON MOON

On September 15, 1971, Neil Armstrong made one of the most epic, unforgettable, earth-shattering, earth-breaking, earth-shattering, inarguably life-changing, life-changing moments in human history with his historic moon walk. To mark the landmark achievement, the Chinese government decreed a moon ceremony in 1974 for all moon-watchers around the world. But, despite these celebrations, China had been making a push for manned space exploration for some time. It took NASA ten years to reach the moon after Japan set foot there first.

In the 1970s, as the USSR began to edge ahead of the US, Chinese engineers developed equipment such as unmanned rockets and test bases. But the country’s eyes were first focused on the moon. On October 21, 1977, the Chinese Chang’e-I and Chang’e-II spacecraft, consisting of two, lightweight landers and orbiters, became the first two spacecraft to touch down on the moon’s surface, safely returning unprecedented data from within and beyond it, and reigniting the country’s fascination with its lunar sandbox.

Just 40 years later, the same track can be seen as China begins to intensify its pursuit of the moon as its top space goal. China’s new Chang’e-III lunar lander – it named after a rooster – is the furthest-along of all. It became the first government satellite to return samples from the moon last summer. With support from Russia and India, China is also working towards using a robo-lander on a manned mission.

Today, we celebrate the moon, and China, and the hope that these bold and dramatic milestones will inspire the next generation of China’s global leaders to reach for the stars and create incredible feats of modern technology.

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