China’s manned space mission
China’s billion-dollar manned spaceflight program, 11 years after its initiation, paid off when the country’s first astronaut Yang Liwei safely touched down on the northern grasslands on 16th October 2003, bringing his 21-hour-23- minute space voyage to a perfect end. The accurate landing of Yang’s spacecraft, the home-made Shenzhou-5, at 6:23 a.m, Beijing time, secured China a niche in space as the third nation to independently send a man into outer space, following the former Soviet Union and the United States.
Plans to firmly put Galileo in space concretized. Galileo is Europe’s balancing answer to GPS of U.S. It is scheduled to be operational in 2008. Galileo will deploy spectrum similarly used for GPS military use, implying that it would be difficult to jam the Galileo signal without disturbing the GPS signal. Many countries including India and China formally pledged its participation in the European Union’s Galileo satellite navigation system in November. Indian officials estimated a 350-million-dollar Indian stake in the 3.2 billion euro European satellite project with their Chinese counterparts estimating a 300-million-dollar stake.
After traveling through space for more than 26 years, Voyager 1, became the only spacecraft to have made measurements from the farthest distance-beyond solar system. On November 5, 2003, the spacecraft was 90 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun. 90 AU is the equivalent of about 8.4 billion miles or 13.5 billion kilometers. Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 were launched on a journey to into space in 1977.