BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Ren Xinmin, a well-known expert on missile and rocket technologies, chief designer of China's first manmade satellite and also one of the founders of China's space industry, has died.
He was 102.
Ren was born in Ningguo, east China's Anhui province in 1915. He graduated from a military university in Chongqing in 1940. He then went to study at the University of Michigan in America and got a master's degree for mechanical engineering and a doctorate for engineering mechanics in 1945.
He returned to China in 1949 despite receiving an offer to teach at the University at Buffalo. Starting from 1956, Ren worked as a key technical engineer and helped China develop its first missile, Dongfeng-1 in 1960 and also its first man-made satellite Dongfanghong-1 in 1970. Ren then worked as chief designer of 6 major space projects in China including an experimental communications satellite, practical satellite communications and meteorological satellite Fengyun-1.
In 1980, Ren was elected as an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). In 1999, Ren was granted the Two Bombs and One Satellite Merit Medal.
After Ren retired, he still paid close attention to the development of China's space industry. In 2003, at the age of 88, Ren witnessed the process of China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei, being sent into space by a Shenzhou-5 spaceship at Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre. He also wrote a calligraphy work to celebrate the successful launch of China's carrier rocket Changzheng-5 on November 3, 2016.