The Long March-5B Y2 rocket, carrying the Tianhe module, blasts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in south China’s Hainan Province, April 29, 2021. Photo: Xinhua
China on Thursday successfully sent into space Tianhe core module of space station. This marks China’s space station construction entering the full implementation stage. It’s a crucial step forward for China’s manned space program. Hundreds of millions of Chinese people felt inspired by the success.
Building a space station is to build a house in space. The core module is not only the command and control center of the space station, but also lays the foundation for the station. According to the China Manned Space Engineering Office, China will kick off intensive launch missions, including three modules, four cargo spacecraft and four manned spaceships. China is expected to finalize an orbital construction next year. After the “house” is built, our astronauts can move in and start various important space experiments.
It is worth noting that China’s space station will operate for at least 10 years, and the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled to come out of service in 2024. This means, at that time, China’s space station would probably be the only one of its kind in space. Sending astronauts in space and building a space station are a dream comes true for Chinese people. When a Chinese astronaut looks at Earth from China’s space station, it will represent not only the advancement of China’s aerospace technology but also a great breakthrough of Chinese people’s vision and imagination.
People know there are unlimited possibilities in outer space, but the threshold of space exploration is extremely high. Without the support of the strong comprehensive national strength and the top-level aerospace technology and research as well as manufacturing capabilities, what China has achieved would never be thinkable. We should be proud of our achievements in the aerospace cause under the West’s doubt and isolation. The US once blocked China from participating in the ISS project, and thus pushed China to rapidly develop its own aerospace technology. Today, we are going to have our own space station. This will provide a profound lesson and inspiration to the Chinese people.
Chinese society has had a relatively full understanding of the significance of aerospace technology development. But every time China carries out a major space mission, some voices always emerge saying that as China still faces many difficulties in improving livelihoods, it shouldn’t spend so much money on space projects that are hard to reap profits in the short term. This is narrow-minded and shortsighted. For a big country like China, it is destined to conquer space and sea. We cannot talk about China’s rise if the country hasn’t made breakthroughs in high-end areas such as the aerospace industry. China’s livelihood development will also encounter obstacles. In the long run, when the aerospace technology progresses, it is bound to boost China’s livelihood.
China’s aerospace development started late from a low point, but has achieved outstanding progress in a short period of time. Through the efforts and contributions of several generations of people engaging in the aerospace cause, China has caught up with the world’s aerospace powers. From the achievements of “two bombs and one satellite” to the status as an aerospace power, China has displayed Chinese people’s national spirit of self-improvement and self-reliance. Without such national spirit, it’s unimaginable that China could achieve such aerospace achievements. As long as the spirit exists, China will create a new legend.
Of course, compared with the US and Russia, China still lags behind. But the gap is also a driving force. China should enter space step by step. Mankind’s exploration of outer space has just begun. There is infinite space waiting for human beings to explore. From this sense, the narrow-mindedness of Washington is clear as it is racking its brain to engage in geopolitical competition with China.