Academician Sun Jiadong: Unswerving Patriotic Dedication in Decades of Aerospace Researches

Sun Jiadong, former technician-in-charge of Dongfanghong 1 (DFH-1) as well as the first chief designer of lunar exploration project and BeiDou navigation project, was awarded successively the merit medal of “Nuclear Bomb, Missile and Satellite”, the Highest Science and Technology Awards of 2009 and other honors. Sun has participated in all pioneering tasks in the history of Chinese aerospace, such as the first artificial earth satellite, the first remote sensing detection satellite and the first lunar exploration satellite of Chang’e 1, etc. Even now academician Sun’s mind is still filled with all sorts of feelings when he recalls the successful launch of the first artificial satellite of “Dongfanghong1 (DFH-1)” in 1970.

At 21:35 on April 24, 1970, when the first artificial satellite of “Dongfanghong1 (DFH-1)” shot up into the sky from a desert, many people heard the The East Is Red music transmitted from the space through radio waves. This scene was so touching that it has become a lifetime memory for that generation of Chinese.

The development of artificial satellites was the last agenda in the “Nuclear Bomb, Missile and Satellite” program initiated by New China. It was a poverty-stricken era when the high-tech field of aerospace lacked of fundamental supports economically and technologically. Being the first generation for aerospace researches of New China, Sun threw himself into such a field.

It was an extremely harsh period when all forces from the whole country were mobilized under the direct leadership of Premier Zhou Enlai and Marshal Nie Rongzhen, said Sun Jiadong, a meritorious scientist of “Nuclear bomb, Missile and Satellite” and senior technical consultant of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC).

Upon efforts and repeated verification of over ten years since 1958, the first artificial satellite was finally launched on April 24, 1970.

The first satellite had proven our ability of satellite launch, Sun added. We were capable of manufacturing a satellite and sending it to the space for long-term service.

With such a basis, Sun led aerospace researchers to get close to more and more splendid goals, motivated by a spirit of self-dependence and willing dedication. Since Sun was a key member of the research team, he shouldered more responsibilities.

According to Sun, space technology characterizes itself with stringent process control: During the installation of thousands of components, each link can veto all other links because of any unreasonable occurrence in terms of one wire, one device or a design drawing for avoidance of any major accident.

By keep improving itself, a leapfrog development of manned spaceflight project has been achieved. At present, we are on the road from a space country to a space power. Sun has never stop his pursuit on this road.

Many persons asked him in bewilderment: As that you have accomplished both success and fame, why are your still ardent for risky jobs one after another, which may overshadow your glorious space career if fails. Sun still persists in his researches without reluctance. “I will do whatever my country needs.” he said, “This is the basic and indispensable quality for aerospace researchers.”

Up to now, Sun still cherishes a dream, the dream to “explore the space deeper with China’s spacecrafts.”

Take the moon for example, we shall land on the far side of the moon where other countries had not laid their feet before. We shall visit the moon to explore the mystery of the universe, Sun said. General Secretary Xi said that we should remain true to our original aspiration and keep our mission firmly in mind. Therefore, patriotism in aerospace researchers’ mind is embodied in their dedication in relevant researches, and in turn, the dedication in relevant researches is reflected in achievements of the space cause as well as high sense of personal responsibility to support and contribute to your country.