26 Thursday 26 January HQ Lecture

China’s Expanding Space Programme

In October 2003 China became the third nation to launch humans into space - Yang Liwei is now immortalised as the first Taikonauit. Just eight years later, on 29 September 2011, the Tiangong-1 space station was placed in orbit to be visited by Chinese astronauts over the next two years.

In 2010 China had 15 successful launches into space - the same number as the USA, and just as America’s Space Shuttle was being withdrawn from service! China now has about 70 civil and military satellites in space providing services such as TV, communications, weather forecasting, navigation and environmental monitoring. Its scientific programme is also expanding. Its second Moon orbiter, Chang’e-2, completed its six-month mission around the Moon in April 2011, and then travelled further out into deep space to arrive at the L-2 Lagrange point 1.5 million kms from Earth (where Earth and sun gravity cancel out). The first Chinese probe to Mars is due to be launched on a Russian rocket in November 2011.


Karl Bergquist is Europe’s leading expert on China’s space programme. He is responsible for relations with China in the European Space Agency (ESA), and has written and lectured extensively on the subject. In his 18 years with ESA Karl has negotiated numerous collaboration agreements not only with China but also with Russia, India, and many other countries in Europe and Latin America. He has also represented ESA in United Nations initiatives such as the one that led to the creation of the International Charter for Space in Major Disasters.

Karl Bergquist is Swedish, and began his career with the Swedish National Aid Agency, BITS. He has studied in China and is a fluent Mandarin speaker (not to mention being fluent in several European languages).


Event venue:
No.4 Hamilton Place

London, W1J 7BQ, UK


When:Thursday, 26 January 2012 18:00 - 19:30

Type:HQ Lecture

Specialist Grp:Space

Speaker(s):Karl Bergquist, International Relations Administrator, European Space Agency

Location:No.4 Hamilton Place view map

Related: China's Expanding Space Lecture Flyer

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