China National Space Administration(CNSA), China

Nov. 2, 2017, 3:01 p.m. By: Kirti


The China National Space Administration (CNSA), a Chinese government organization (National Space Agency) who has its headquarters in Beijing was founded in 1993 for The People's Republic of China that since then coordinates and plans its national space activities and is also responsible for the National Space Program. The main responsibilities that CNSA has been credited with include the signing of governmental agreements in the space area on the behalf of organizations, being in charge of the enforcement of national space policies, and also inter-governmental scientific and technical exchanges.

The organization is mainly composed of four departments namely: System Engineering; Technology, Science and Quality Control; General Planning and lastly Foreign Affairs. The Chinese governmental organization (CNSA) also operates three launch facilities: Taiyuan, in Shanxi province; Xichang, in Sichuan province and finally Jiuquan, in Gansu province. Also, When compared worldwide to other space agencies, this organization is not involved with the International Space Station but, and in fact has a small space station of its own called Tiangong-1, that is known as China's First Space Station.

When the Ministry of Aerospace Industry was split into CNSA and the China Aerospace Corporation (CASC), It resulted in the formation of CNSA. While it was the latter who was to be responsible for execution, it was the former was to be responsible for the policy. This arrangement proved to be somewhat unsatisfactory, as both of these agencies were together one large agency, that shared both personnel and management when in effect.

The agency took off its series of victories and achievements when the CNSA launched Yang Liwei, China’s first taikonaut, into the orbit on Oct. 15, 2003. A day that was historic in itself for the agency. After doing so, CNSA then came to be known as the third country after the Soviet Union and the United States to have achieved human spaceflight. Since then, CNSA has done several manned space launches that included Shenzhou 9 that made the first Chinese manned docking in space with a crew of three-people aboard in 2013, attached to a single-room station, named as Tiangong-1.

The agency very soon also found its success in making the first soft landing in decades on the moon with its Chang'e 3 lander and its rover, Yutu in the month of December 2014. There have also been many periodic launches carried out by CNSA itself using its Chang Zheng-Long March rocket series which serve as competitors in the International Commercial Space Launch market.

When we talk of the path to their first taikonaut fight, the information about the program is quite scant. Even though, CNSA has its very own website, which is updated during every mission, most of the related updates come through the state-controlled Chinese Media.

Moving on, When you come down to its near-term lofty space ambitions, according to various news reports, China plans on sending a Rover to the far side of the moon in the coming year(2018), that would be the first in itself for humankind, continuing its list they also plan on sending a Mars rover out in 2020, something that has been attempted by many other European nations and Russia, but only successfully accomplished by the United States(US) and also plans to have a larger, orbital station in service by the same year as well.

Adding on to its list of upcoming projects also include the on-orbit maintaining system of the ‘Tiangong’ II space station, the manipulator of Chinese space station, Chang’e-4 lunar rover. China has also spent almost the whole of the last decade in the demonstration of its technological abilities in the area between the Earth and the moon, where satellites and space telescopes alike reside, known as, Cislunar space. At present, even though China’s space capabilities are significantly behind those of both the United States and Russia, they are about on par with Europe and according to Wu Yanhua, the deputy chief of the National Space Administration, their overall goal is to make China among the major space powers of the world, by the year of 2030. Quite a task to be accomplished we can say!

Not taking a stop, CNSA is further also continuing to work on technologies such as reusable rockets and cargo ships and The space development of CNSA has been concentrating on applications such as Earth-observation satellites and the communications satellites for use by the military and the civilians. At present, China’s ambitions in space prove to be as strategic as the Apollo programs and Vostok that took place in the 1960s.

China's Moon Landing Video:

Video Source: Jian Fang