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China will soon make history by sending the first Chinese man to space. Scheduled for sometime in 2003, it will be the first step toward China's highly ambitious plans for space exploration.The China National Space Administration Web site (1) has a detailed description of the country's space policy. Aerospace China, a journal published online by the administration, has information on space development plans and other issues. The history of China's space program is recounted by the online Encyclopedia Astronautica (2). Several influential scientists and their contributions to Chinese rocketry and satellite technology are highlighted. The China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology (3) sent the first Chinese satellite into space. Its home page showcases eight launch vehicles and offers an extensive technical description of the LM-3C model. The work of various research groups at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory (4) deals with topics ranging from satellite dynamics to stellar astronomy. Some of the groups have details of their projects and facilities online. Another observatory studies molecular clouds and star formation (5). A large collection of its research papers are provided on its Web site. A news article from Space.com (6) discusses the forthcoming launch of the Shenzhou IV spacecraft, scheduled for later this year. It is generating considerable interest, since it is said to be identical to China's first manned spacecraft, expected to launch in 2003. Another article (7) considers China's rapidly developing space program. With the tremendous effort and lofty goals for moon bases and Mars missions, the author argues that China could eventually rival the US. Many more news stories about the Chinese space program can be found on the Dragon Space Web site (8).
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