Founder of China's space industry remembered

By Zhao Lei | | Updated: 2016-12-12 16:30

A ceremony was held at the China Academy of Aerospace Systems Science and Engineering in Beijing on Sunday to mark the 105th anniversary of the birth of Qian Xuesen, the founder of China's space industry.

The academy, part of State-owned space contractor China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, released four books on Qian at the ceremony.

Xue Huifeng, president of the academy, said Qian's theories in systems engineering will continue to be promoted and passed on to future generations.

Qian, who was also known as Hsue-Shen Tsien in the West, was born on Dec 11, 1911, in Shanghai. After graduating from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 1934, he went to the United States to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later at the California Institute of Technology. In 1939, he received a doctorate in aviation and mathematics and in 1947, age 35, became a professor at MIT.

In 1955, he returned to China and was appointed leader of the country's missile and space programs. Qian contributed extensively to China's military modernization in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the 1980s, he became a top political adviser and was named head of the China Association for Science and Technology.

He died on Oct 31, 2009 and his funeral was attended by almost all of China's then leadership.

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