China sets April 24 as National Day of Space Flight

Beijing: The Chinese government has approved a motion to celebrate a National Day of Space Flight on April 24 every year starting from 2016, the media reported on Tuesday. The year 2016 marks the 60th anniversary of the beginning of China's spaceflight development, the People's Daily reported.  On April 24, 1970, China launched its first man-made earth satellite, Dongfanghong-1, making China the fifth country then to launch a domestically produced satellite using domestically produced rockets.  The other four countries were Russia, the US, France and Japan. In the 60 years, China has developed two bombs and one satellite project, mastered manned space flight, launched a lunar exploration project and generally achieved rapid growth in space technology, according to information on the official website of the central government. Liang Xiaohong, a former senior official from China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation who is also in charge of research for China's carrier rocket, continuously advocated for a national space holiday over the last five years. The National Day of Space Flight is not only a day for astronauts, it is also meant to get young people interested in space science and to pay respect to scientists.