OCT 8, 1956
China sets up the Fifth Academy of the Ministry of National Defence headed by alleged Cold War spy Qian Xuesen, marking the start of its space programme.
APRIL 24, 1970
It sends its first space satellite, Dongfanghong-1, into orbit. This date has been designated China Space Day since this year.
OCT 15, 2003
It sends its first astronaut, Yang Liwei, into space on the Shenzhou-5 mission.
SEPT 27, 2008
First spacewalk by a Chinese astronaut, Zhai Zhigang, one of three astronauts aboard the Shenzhou-7 mission.
SEPT 29, 2011
China launches Tiangong-1 space lab module, which is the predecessor of Tiangong-2 that was launched last month.
JUNE 16, 2012
Transport plane pilot Liu Yang becomes China's first woman astronaut on the Shenzhou-9 spacecraft. The mission also achieved the country's first manual docking in orbit when it linked up with the Tiangong-1 module.
DEC 15, 2013
China's first moon rover Jade Rabbit, or Yu Tu, soft-lands on the lunar surface. China is the third country to achieve the feat after US and Russia.
AUG 16, 2016
China launches the world's first quantum satellite that will establish "hackproof" communications between space and Earth.
SEPT 25, 2016
China begins operation of theAperture Spherical Radio Telescope (above), the world's largest radio telescope, to explore the universe.
OCT 17, 2016
China launches its longest space mission, Shenzhou-11. The spacecraft docks two days later with orbiting space lab Tiangong-2 where two astronauts will spend most of 33 days.
China to launch a core module of its permanent space station.
China to launch an unmanned rover on Mars.
China to launch its permanent space station, expected to be the only one operational after the International Space Station expires in 2024.
China to put its nationals on the Moon.