The historic calendar of People’s Daily web-site marks April 12 as the date to remember two world events: the counter-revolutionary coup in Chiang Kai-shek in 1927 and the flight of the first Soviet man into space in 1961.
The details were not mentioned, we will not find any publications in the Chinese press, devoted to the Russian pioneer of space. However, there is a surprising coincidence: this April inspired the hearts of China’s would-be astronauts.
The successful landing of the Chinese spaceship Shenzhou III (this happened on April 1) resulted in the series of publications in China’s media outlets, unveiling some details about the group of the Chinese cosmonauts. Twelve astronauts reportedly came to the Jiuquan Launching Site to make a performance test of the escapement system. According to Qin Wenbo (the deputy commander of the group), the 12 were sifted out from over 2000 pilots and so they enjoy the best psychological quality. "From among the 12, there must be two to three, who are going to be the first batch of astronauts, they are all pilots of fighters," - said profusely Qin Wenbo." Yang Jiaxi, a renowned Chinese aerospace scientist, recently expressed his hope for an opportunity to enter the Guineas Book of World Records by joining the crew of a Chinese spacecraft and becoming the world's oldest cosmonaut. This was not meant to happen, since Yang Jiaxi is 83 now, and the time is not working for hid dream to come true.
As PRAVDA.Ru already mentioned before, “the Chinese Gagarin” will take off not later than in the year 2005. Other astronauts from the mentioned group will be able to experience that afterwards. This will be the implementation of the first part of the Chinese space exploration program.
The objective of the next part of the program is to solve the problems of the docking technologies in space, and launch a space laboratory. The third stage of the program will be about the construction of the space station with the crew on board: something like the Russian Mir space station, which fell into the ocean in the end. The future of the Chinese space exploration is our remote past.
Andrey Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov