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101-year-old scientist devotes life to China's aerospace industry

Pub Date:2021-08-05 08:23 Source:People's Daily Online

"I will love the motherland forever, and as long as I work in my own country, I will always take pleasure in my job," said distinguished scientist Lu Yuanjiu, who is 101 years old.

Lu was born in January 1920 in Laian county, east China’s Anhui Province, and became a diligent student. He was admitted to the school of aeronautical engineering at the National Central University in Chongqing in 1937 and graduated four years later. Lu recalls how he and his classmates studied under enemy bombing while they were in Chongqing.

In the 1940s, Lu went to the United States to study inertial navigation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the direction of Charles Stark Draper, known as the "father of inertial navigation".

After receiving his doctorate at MIT, Lu continued his research in the US until 1956, when he returned to the motherland.

"People of my generation have dedicated themselves to the country," Lu said recently.

Soon after his return, Lu took part in the task of establishing the Institute of Automation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and was later named deputy director of the institute. While there, he led the research and development of inertial navigation technology in China.

In 1958, Lu proposed a plan to conduct research into automated control and recycling of manmade satellites. At the same time, he and his colleagues built the country's first model of a satellite instrument cabin. In 1964, Lu wrote a book on inertial navigation theory, one of the earliest books in this field in China.

As one of the founders of China's space industry, Lu played an important role in the design and construction of the country's first satellite, which was sent into orbit in 1970.

In 1978, Lu became director of the Beijing Institute of Aerospace Control Devices. Under his guidance, many achievements were made in research into inertial navigation and control technologies, which laid a solid foundation for the development of new carrier rockets and spacecraft. In 1982, Lu joined the Communist Party of China (CPC).

In recognition of Lu's service and contribution to the country and the CPC, Lu was awarded the July 1 Medal, the Party's highest honor, by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, at a ceremony to celebrate the centenary of the CPC held in Beijing last month.

Lu is currently a senior adviser to China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp, a leading space contractor.

Whenever his fellow researchers asked him for help, Lu was always ready to lend a hand with solving technological problems. He believes that in the area of aerospace, researchers should always keep learning, innovating, and moving forward.


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