'Aerospace city' spurs success

At satellite launch center in desert, unsung heroes help China shoot for stars

China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-19 10:01
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Editor's note: This year, the People's Republic of China will celebrate its 75th anniversary, marking a crucial year for achieving the goals and tasks outlined in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25). China Daily is publishing a visual series focusing on the high-quality development of various fields, capturing the process of Chinese-style modernization through photo lenses. This week, we are highlighting the silent contributors behind China's manned space exploration endeavors.

The return capsule of the Shenzhou XV manned spaceship is loaded on a truck to leave the desert on June 5. WANG HENG/FOR CHINA DAILY

In the heart of the Gobi Desert, nestled at the boundary between Jiuquan city in the northwestern province of Gansu and the Ejine Banner in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region, lies the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, also known as the "Dongfeng Aerospace City".

It is the only launch center for the country's manned space program, where the dreams of Chinese manned space exploration became reality.

The story of China's manned space program is one of countless unsung heroes. Generation after generation of space program professionals have tirelessly dedicated themselves to the cause, paving the way for astronauts to venture into space.

From the maiden voyage of the Shenzhou I spacecraft in 1999 to the upcoming launch of the manned Shenzhou XVIII spacecraft, these professionals have contributed their skills in many fields. They have ventured into the vast expanse of the desert, chasing the dream of space exploration.

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