Ragnvald Irgens: China—An Emerging Space Power
In the first century A.D., the Chinese reportedly had a simple form of gunpowder made from saltpeter, sulfur, and charcoal dust, and by the 11^th century they had constructed a simple form of solid-propellant rocket, the “arrows of flying fire”, that was used in warfare. According to legend there were also experiments with using rockets as a means of transportation.
Modern China’s “long march” towards space starts back in the 1950s with the establishment of a space program. We will look at what China has accomplished in space the last 60 years and speculate on what their plans for the future might be.