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People's Times Review: China Space Station Reveals Spirit of Innovation

The gateway to the era of the space station marks the progressive development of China’s space science and technology, and also shows that China has embarked on a successful path to promote the development of space science.

After 7 days of maritime sailing, the Long March 5B carrier rocket -- specially developed for the space station, arrived at the Wenchang space launch site not long ago. According to the plan, the new-generation manned spacecraft test vessel will be launched into space in mid-to-late April for technical tryouts. This will be the first flight of the Long March 5B rocket, and it also means that the orbital construction of the space station will begin soon.

After nearly 30 years of unremitting efforts and relentless pursuit of dreams, China Manned Space has opened the door to the era of the space station. From the first unmanned experimental spacecraft Shenzhou I’s launch and return in 1999, the first time the Chinese flew out of the earth in 2003, the first extra vehicular activity in 2008, and the 33-day residency in 2016 ... one after another, these unforgettable moments are just like yesterday, and they also strung the magnificent trajectory of the passion and dreams that Chinese have towards space. Today, the dream of the space station is close at hand, which is not only a reward and encouragement for long-term passion, but also will stimulate our imagination of the wider world and the exploration of deeper space.

The door to the era of the space station records the development and progress of China's space science and technology, and also shows that China has embarked on a successful path to promote the development of space science and technology. In the pursuit of the dream of spaceflight, China is still a follower. The plan of "three steps" of China Manned Space is based on its own conditions. The space station is the third step of the "three-step" development strategy of China Manned Space Program. Each stage comes naturally, filled with stories of dreams and wisdom, pursuit and courage; each step is solid, and behind them are people with the spirit of unwilling to lack behind. This makes people admire both the vision of visionaries and the spirit of innovators.

As described by Wang Yongzhi, the first chief designer of China Manned Space Program, at the 20th anniversary of the launch of the Program, the completion and operation of the space station will become an important symbol of China's construction of an innovative country. A strong sense of innovation smears convincing technological breakthroughs on the blueprint of the plan, and accumulates the foundation for leapfrog development and cost-effective output. A typical case of innovation is that in the test of the necessary technology for the construction of the space station—the rendezvous and docking technology test, Chinese researchers creatively developed the Tiangong-1 as the rendezvous and docking target, reducing the number of spacecraft launches to reduce costs, and achieving part of the space laboratory's test objectives in advance.

From the perspective of innovation, the construction of the space station not only shows the feelings of exploring the unknown, but more importantly, it will occupy the commanding heights of science and technology for decades and even longer. The development of China Manned Space in the past 30 years has not only led to the leaps in the space station and aerospace technology itself, but has also driven progress and breakthroughs in many fields of science and engineering technology. It has brought countless beautiful scenes in which aerospace achievements benefit society and ordinary people. Because of this, the goal center of gravity of the Chinese Space Station built and operated will be tilted towards mining scientific value. It will become a national space laboratory. On such a unique space science and technology experimental platform, scientists all over the world will have the opportunity to devote precious space resources to scientific discovery and use China's space station to benefit humanity.

Space missions are risky and difficult. It will not be easy to undertake more than 10 space missions in the future in less than three years to complete the construction and operation of a near-Earth human space station. To achieve leapfrog development of technology and continuous improvement of the benefits of scientific utilization, the mission of the space station still faces many challenges. For the endless exploration of the universe, building a space station is only a starting point in the future journey. We, who walk with our dreams, need greater wisdom and courage to look up at the stars and down-to-earth to explore more mysteries and harvest a better future.

(Yu Jianbin  "People's Daily")

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