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Qian Xuesen died, age 98

Posted by: koxinga - Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:50 am
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Qian Xuesen died, age 98 
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Space Walker
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Post Qian Xuesen died, age 98   Posted on: Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:50 am
RIP :cry:

Leading Chinese rocket scientist dies at 98

(AP) – 55 minutes ago

BEIJING — Qian Xuesen, a rocket scientist known as the father of China's space technology, died Saturday in Beijing, the official Xinhua News Agency said. He was 98.

Qian was born in Hangzhou and studied in the United States at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and later at the California Institute of Technology, where he helped start the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

According to Iris Chang's book about Qian, Thread Of The Silkworm, he applied for U.S. citizenship in the 1950s but became a target of anti-communist investigations and was deported, returning to China in 1955, six years after Mao Zedong led the Communist Party to power.

With China's strategic missile program taking shape, Qian worked for the Ministry of Defense, setting up its first missile and rocket research institute which later helped start China's space program.

In 1956, he wrote an influential essay which led to the establishment of the Commission of Aeronautical Industry to supervise scientific research into guided missiles and aeronautics. It was chaired by the famous Chinese marshal Nie Rongzhen.

Qian's research helped lead to the successful explosion of China's first atomic bomb in October 1964, as well as to its first man-made satellite in 1970 and its first manned spacecraft in 2003, Xinhua said.

In August, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited Qian and praised him for dedicating his life to China's defense technologies.

"I'm trying to live to be 100 years old," Qian told him.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

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