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 Qian Xuesen

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Qian Xuesen

  • Birth 11 Dec 1911 Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China
  • Death 31 Oct 2009 Beijing, Beijing Municipality, China
  • Burial Beijing, Beijing Municipality, China
  • Plot Ashes interred
  • Memorial ID 43976352

Chinese Rocket Scientist. Born in China's Zhejiang Province, he is regarded as the father of China's space and nuclear programs. A 1934 graduate of Jiaotong University in Shanghai, he arrived in the United States the following year after receiving an educational scholarship to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned a masters degree in aeronautical engineering while attending MIT, followed by a doctorate degree in aviation and mathematics from the California Institute of Technology. He is credited with helping to create the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. From 1946 to 1949 he worked as an associate professor of aerospace and as a professor of aerodynamics at MIT, and from 1949 to 1955 he served as director and professor at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In 1950 he applied for U.S. citizenship but was denied, over government concerns about possible ties to radical subversive organizations and Communist sympathizers. Held under tight surveillance and virtual house arrest over the next several years, he was deported back to China in 1955, in exchange for 11 U.S. military airmen being held by the North Koreans. Following his return to China, he became active in China's Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) program and the development of anti-ship weaponry. His research led to China's first atomic bomb test in 1964, followed by China's first satellite launch in 1970, and the nation's first manned space flight in 2003. He served as a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and as a member of the Ministry of National Defense where he designed advanced rocket systems engineered from Soviet and German technology. In 1979 he was awarded Caltech's distinguished alumni award for his contribution to the field of science, and in January 2007 he was named person of the year by Aviation Week and Space Technology. He died in the nation's capital at the age of 98.

Bio by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Nils M. Solsvik Jr.
  • Added: 5 Nov 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 43976352
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Qian Xuesen (11 Dec 1911–31 Oct 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 43976352, citing Babaoshan Cemetery, Beijing, Beijing Municipality, China ; Maintained by Find A Grave .