And now we’d like to invite you to come along with us for one of our intermittent trips down memory lane. Just about every week, we like to celebrate the anniversaries of great moments in technology history. This week we are going to set our Wayback machine to…
…November 19, 1999. On that day, China successfully launched the first of its Long March rockets to deliver a spacecraft, the Shenzhou 1, into orbit.
China had been assisted in its space program by Russia. The Shenzhou modules were by all appearances modeled on the Soviet Soyuz spacecraft – which some people believed in turn were modeled after a design proposed in the United States by GE in the early 1960s.
China was secretive about the 1999 launch. After the fact, some speculate the launch may have been rushed. That may or may not be why Shenzhou 1 wasn’t fully operational; one source called it an “inert mock-up.” Ultimately that was neither here nor there. The immediate concern was whether the rocket would work and if it could deliver the payload.
BRIAN SANTO: That’s actually the Long March rocket from that launch taking off. It successfully delivered the Shenzhou 1 into Earth orbit. The craft made 14 circuits, and then was brought back to Earth in a parachute landing in Inner Mongolia.
Four years later, Shenzhou 5 was the first manned craft lifted into orbit by China, the third country in the world to achieve independent human space flight capability.
And that’s your Weekly Briefing for the week ending November 20th. Thank you for listening.
The Weekly Briefing is available on all the major podcast platforms, but if you get to us via our web site at www.eetimes.com/podcasts you’ll find a transcript along with links to the stories we mentioned.
This podcast is Produced by AspenCore Studio. It was Engineered by Taylor Marvin and Greg McRae at Coupe Studios. The Segment Producer was Kaitie Huss.
I’m Brian Santo. See you next week.