With the landing of the Chang'e 4 probe on the hidden side of the Moon, The first time a country succeeds, China marks a new milestone in its space program, which continues at full capacity after more than six decades of history, among which the following dates stand out:
– October 8, 1956.- China opens its first missile and rocket research center, the Number 5 Institute, led by Qian Xueshen, one of the fathers of the Chinese space program.
– May 17, 1958.- In response to the launch of Sputnik 1 – the first satellite in orbit – by the USSR, Mao ordered to build and send to space a Chinese satellite before October 1, 1959. The "Project 581", as it was called initiative, fails due to the inexperience of the country in aerospace technology.
– October 1958.- The construction of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, located in the Gobi desert (in the north of the country), from where most of the Chinese missions to space will take off.
– April 24, 1964– China launches a rocket that transports albino rats into space.
– July 15, 1966.- The Asian country tries to emulate the feat of the dog Laika with the release of two dogs to the cosmos, Little Leopard and Shan Shan. Neither of them reached orbit, but both survived.
– April 24, 1970.- China successfully concludes the launch of its first space satellite, the Dong Fang Hong (»The East is Red»).
– November 26, 1975.- Launch of the first recoverable satellite that returns to Earth three days later.
– September 7, 1988.- In orbit the first meteorological satellite, the Feng Yun 1A.
– April 7, 1990.- China begins its commercial launches into space with AsiaSat 1, a communications satellite.
– 1992– China designs a three-stage strategy to send astronauts into space, giving rise to the Shenzhou spacecraft family (»Bajel Divino»).
– November 20, 1999.- China launches its first unmanned spacecraft, Shenzhou 1, experimental.
– October 15, 2003.– Yang Liwei becomes the first Chinese astronaut to travel to the cosmos, in the Shenzhou 5 mission, making China the third country to put a human being in orbit.
– February 2004.- Beijing announces its lunar exploration program, a strategy that will also be divided into three stages.
– October 12, 2005.– China sends two astronauts to space in their Shenzhou 6 mission, who remained in orbit for five days, thus completing the first stage of their strategy.
– May 14, 2007.- China successfully launches a communications satellite for Nigeria, the first time that a foreign buyer acquires a Chinese satellite and its launch service at the same time.
– October 24, 2007.- The Asian giant inaugurates the first stage of its lunar exploration program with the launch of the Chang'e 1 probe.
– September 25, 2008.- Inaugurated the second stage of the Chinese program of space exploration after putting into orbit three people in the Shenzhou 7 mission, who made the first Chinese "spacewalk" in history.
– September 29, 2011.- Launch of China's first space laboratory, the Tiangong 1 (»Palace of Heaven»).
– June 16, 2012.– Departure from the Shenzhou 9 manned mission, the first to successfully join the Tiangong base 1. It was the first flight of a Chinese cosmonaut, Liu Yang.
– 2 December 2013.- China sends the Chang'e 3 probe, designed to explore the lunar surface. This mission launches the second stage of the lunar exploration program of the Asian country.
– December 17, 2015.- Successful launch of the first Chinese space telescope, the Dark Matter Exploration Satellite.
– September 15, 2016.- As part of the third stage of its manned space program, China launches its second base, Tiangong 2, with the aim of serving as preparation for the permanent mission, scheduled for 2022.
– October 17, 2016.- China launches its sixth manned mission and the last to date, the Shenzhou 11.
– January 18, 2017.- Officially operative the Micio satellite, the first quantum communication in the world.
– April 20, 2017.- Launched successfully the first Chinese space freighter, the Tianzhou 1 ship, essential for the construction of the future space station.
– April 25, 2018.- China announces its plans to build a habitable scientific base on the Moon.
– December 7, 2018.- After a delay of three years, China finally launches the Chang'e 4 mission.
– January 3, 2019.- The Chang'e 4 probe landed on the dark side of the Moon, the first time in history to be achieved.