Access the Go Taikonauts! iPad App in the Apple App Store.

LibraryGo Taikonauts! is back! Never heard about it? It doesn’t matter. After you read through this electronic magazine, you will know what it is all about. It is exactly the meaning of the words we put on the logo – it is “All about the Chinese Space Programme”.

Thirteen years ago, it was only a web site. Now, it’s an e-Magazine on iPad, and soon on other existing and future mobile devices.

The primary objective of this magazine is the same as its predecessor – to help people outside China, to know and understand more about the Chinese space programme. In fact, the Chinese space programme is not as closed and mysterious as many people think, though it is not as transparent as the space programmes in other countries, such as Europe or the United States. There is a significant amount of information in the Chinese media, especially on the internet, and only a very small fraction of this is being translated into English.

We hope that our efforts will eliminate misunderstandings about China, in particular amongst the western space community, and assist the establishment of cooperation between China and other countries.

In the first issue, we present readers with an in-depth article about the Chinese space suit. To many people’s surprise, China has been developing space suit technologies for almost half a century. The Chinese space suit is not just a simple copy of the Russian suit. There is a long history behind it.

China’s first space station prototype, the Tiangong 1, is scheduled to be launched in August and will be docked with the un-manned Shenzhou 8 vehicle in October. To coincide with this “Big Event”, we have prepared two relevant articles in this first issue: one about the uncertain military nature of Tiangong 1, and the other about the German SIMBOX experiment on Shenzhou 8 – the first non-Chinese experiment ever flown on a Shenzhou mission.

We will follow the tradition of the old web site to keep our information unique, precise and professional. Remember, all our articles are original. Stay tuned!

(Chen Lan)