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Wednesday, October 15, 2003

China Enters Space

China lifts off.
China lifts off.
Credit: AP
China blasted off this morning with the launch of its first astronaut, or taikonaut, into orbit. 9:10 PM EST last night, Yang Liwei made history riding to the stars aboard a Shenzhou V spacecraft where he will orbit the Earth 14 times. The People's Republic has lately expressed an interest in sending humans to Mars, but it had made clear that it intends to work step-by-step to get there. This is the first step. Few details of the mission have been leaked to the press, or to the people of China for that matter, in the event that a mishap might lower national pride. But take a walk around China today and you'll see nothing but praise for China's first astronaut equivalent to an American Alan Shepard.

With the launch, China becomes only the third country in history capable of sending humans into space, following Russia and the United States.

- posted by Alex @ 17:02 EST