Chinese researchers are making progress by launching a spacecraft to the moon, then to Mars, and now to a space station. With the support of young researchers, China is rapidly achieving all these achievements. China first sent humans into space in 2003. It was only ten years before China’s space program began. Later, the world was shocked by the launch of spacecraft on the moon and even on Mars. Now the young age of the members of the Chinese space research team is surprising other countries.
Astronauts under the age of 30
The Chinese media have reported a sharp decline in the average age of members in their space programs. CGTN, the Chinese official channel, reports that the average age of those involved in various space projects in the country is less than thirty. Between 1992 and 2003, the average age of those involved in Chinese space programs dropped by 18 years.
∙ So Chenyu is 24 years old
So Chenyu, the poster girl for the Chinese space agency and the first woman space commander, is 24 years old. The young woman was in charge of Cheng 5’s rocket connector system for the lunar mission to collect rocks from the moon and bring them to Earth. Following the news, So Chenyu went viral in China and abroad last year.
Chinese power is the new generation
China has already begun efforts to attract the new generation to space science. We need to understand from these changes that those efforts are bearing fruit. Former NASA scientist Ellen Stoffen has previously said that the average age of members of the U.S. space agency NASA is between 52 and 56. If NASA had been in operation since 1958, China’s space agency CNSA would have been established only in 1993.
At the same time, space expert Namrata Goswami warns that the age of astronauts alone does not mean that they can make significant gains. They add that space agencies prefer to outsource the most responsible tasks, such as regular space missions. However, Goswami said the group of young people would help China to take the lead in future space projects.
40 space missions in 2021
China plans to launch 40 space missions this year alone. China launched 38 rockets in 2018 and 34 rockets in 2019. This is higher than any other country during this period. China’s proud plan to complete its own space station by 2022. It also plans to send a second mission to Mars in 2028. This time, China aims to collect samples from Mars and send them to Earth. By 2030, Saturn and Jupiter will be within the Chinese space agency’s limits.
Launch of a giant rocket in 2030
The first launch of the giant rocket Long March 9 is planned for 2030 by the Chinese space agency CNSA. One of the goals is to make the rocket reusable by 2035. All of these goals make it clear that Chinese astronauts will have a catch in the coming years. It is hoped that the strength of the youth will help China to advance rapidly in space.
English Summary: China’s space programme: how Beijing is banking on youth to drive its celestial ambitions