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China’s Millennium Dream, “God’s Craft” Set Sail to Cosmos

China’s Millennium Dream, “God’s Craft” Set Sail to Cosmos

Posted October. 14, 2003 23:03,   


“Our millennium dream of soaring up into space will come true. I have self-esteem on this. No one in the world may ever look down on us.”

In China, people are excited to see their first manned spaceship, Shunzhou 5, taking off into space. When people gather together, one never misses to work up the story of Shunzhou 5. The Chinese press has sent out many of its reporter to buoy up the atmosphere, printing the special coverage daily.

The expected date of Shunzhou 5’s launch has been scheduled around October 15 – 17. However, if the preparation is perfect, it will blast off on October 15 at 9:00 a.m., unless the weather holds it up. At the Zhuchuian satellite state, Ganshu, where the Shunzhou is waiting for its blastoff, martial law has been declared since the evening of October 12.

The ratio of success has been estimated around 97 percent to 98 percent. But, we cannot rule out the possibility of failure, though success just seems to be so natural. “The head of government, being anxious about the failure that might blow up political crisis, called off the live hook-ups,” remarked the spokesperson of CCTV.

Ten minutes after blastoff, Shunzhou 5 is supposed to be broken off from the Changzhung 2F rocket, getting into elliptical orbit of Earth, 200 to 350km high from the surface. It will carry on settling down in a circular orbit, 343km high from the Earth. For 23 hours, it will circle around Earth, going through various kinds of experiments. It will eventually come shooting back down onto the grassland of middle China, Suzhuwangzi, Neimungghu.

The meaning of Shunzhou 5’s blast off is if China succeeds in the blast off of a manned spaceship, it will cut itself in the line of “Space Clubs,” following the U.S. and Russia. It has been 42 years since the former Soviet Union has sent its spaceman Yuri Gargarin into the orbit of Earth, back in 1961.

Setting up an ambitious plan, China will blast off another spaceship to the moon in three years, sending a spaceman to the moon in 2010, and soaring up exploring spaceships to the Mars in 2040.

This blastoff will show off their high technology of space science, also bucking up the self-esteem of their people. The technologies, China has taken grip of, might carry over to the Missile Defense (MD) plan of the U.S., bargained the experts.

It can influence on the power structure – The communists of China has succeeded in attracting 2008 Olympic and blasting off a manned spaceship, also has a firm grip on political power of command. Jacking up the self-esteem of the people, it would get the effect of holding down the discontents of alienated society classes, created during the opening of its market.

Due to the Revolution of Civilization in the 1970s, the Chinese space development plan has been halted. But, in 1992, Zhang Zhou-min, the chief of the Central Committee of defense, has revived it from its long hibernation. For that reason, he might be the hero of the blastoff, if it succeeds. But, the fourth generation leading group such as Huzhintao, the President of China, would be severely damaged on his intention of freeing from Zhang‘s shadow.

Yoo-Sung Hwang yshwang@donga.com