Sun Jiadong: Aerospace is my hobby, and I won’t be tired for the rest of my life

Our reporter Fu Yifei He Liang

  Witnesses say

  At the end of July 1967, Beijing was extremely hot in the midsummer.

One afternoon, Sun Jiadong was working in the office, sweating profusely from the heat.

At that time, he served as the overall model chief designer at the First Branch of the Fifth Research Institute of the Ministry of National Defense, engaged in missile development.

  Just as he was lying on a rocket drawing and thinking hard, someone knocked on the door.

The comer is straight to the point: "Mr. Nie has instructed you to be responsible for the overall design of the first artificial satellite."

  From his dream of building a bridge when he was a boy, to studying aeroengines in the Soviet Union; from developing missiles when he returned to China, to forging an indissoluble bond with satellites, Sun Jiadong's life experienced many turning points.

However, the patriotism of the academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences has never changed.

  In 1958, Sun Jiadong was assigned to the Missile General Design Department of the First Branch of the Fifth Research Institute of the Ministry of National Defense, and became the chief designer of the model two years later.

  "I was engaged in missile development as soon as I graduated. I think I might be engaged in missiles in my life." Sun Jiadong recalled.

  But in the summer of 1967, everything changed.

In order to ensure the successful development of my country's first artificial satellite, the central government decided to form the China Academy of Space Technology, with my country's well-known scientist Qian Xuesen as its dean.

Subsequently, Qian Xuesen recommended Sun Jiadong to Nie Rongzhen.

  In April 1970, when the "Dongfanghong No. 1" satellite flew over Beijing with the music of "Dongfanghong", Sun Jiadong and the comrades who were doing research together looked up at the starry sky, with mixed feelings as if they had seen their children born.

  After the successful launch of the "Dongfanghong-1" satellite, Sun Jiadong successively served as the chief technical officer and chief designer of the second artificial satellite, the first retractable satellite, and the first geostationary orbit test communication satellite, and participated in leadership Completed the development and launch of other types of satellites.

  In October 1985, when my country launched another returnable remote sensing satellite, Li Xue, then Minister of Aerospace Industry, announced to the world that China’s launch vehicle would be put into the international market to undertake the business of launching foreign satellites.

  This news shocked the international aerospace industry.

At that time, the United States and France monopolized the international aerospace launch market.

However, in 1986, four big explosions in the world's aerospace industry plunged European and American countries into a trough, but they provided a rare opportunity for China to enter the international market.

  To this end, Sun Jiadong played the role of "businessman".

In October 1988, Sun Jiadong, on behalf of China, signed two memorandums of agreement on "Satellite Technology Security" and "Satellite Launch Responsibility" with the United States.

By April 7, 1990, the Asia-1 satellite was successfully launched, with the highest accuracy in orbit among the 31 satellites of the same kind from Hughes in the United States.

  Summarizing his career, Sun Jiadong smiled and said: "Seven years of studying airplanes, nine years of building missiles, and 50 years of launching satellites." Even at his advanced age, he still worked hard for China's Beidou and lunar exploration projects.

He said: "Aerospace is my hobby, and I won't be tired for a lifetime."