China National Space Administration

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China National Space Administration
China National Space Administration logo.png
Agency overview
Formed22 April 1993; 28 years ago (1993-04-22)
TypeSpace agency
JurisdictionMinistry of Industry and Information Technology
Chinese Communist Party
HeadquartersHaidian District, Beijing, China
AdministratorZhang Kejian
Primary spaceportsJiuquan Satellite Launch Center
Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center
Xichang Satellite Launch Center
Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site
OwnerPeople's Republic of China
Annual budgetUS$11 billion (2018)[1]
China National Space Administration
Simplified Chinese国家航天
Traditional Chinese國家航天
Literal meaningNational Astronautics Administration

China National Space Administration (abbreviation: CNSA; Chinese: 国家航天局; pinyin: Guójiā Hángtiān Jú) is the national space agency of the People's Republic of China, responsible for the national space program[2] and for planning and development of space activities. CNSA and China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) assumed the authority[when?] over space development efforts previously held by the Ministry of Aerospace Industry. It is a subordinate agency of the State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND), itself a subordinate agency of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), operated by the Chinese Communist Party. The headquarters is in Haidian District, Beijing.

Despite its relatively short history, CNSA has pioneered a number of achievements in space for China, including becoming the first space agency to land on the far side of the Moon with Chang'e 4, bringing material back from the Moon with Chang'e 5, and being the second agency who successfully landed a rover on Mars with Tianwen-1.

The human spaceflight program of China, namely China Manned Space Program, is not administered by CNSA, but China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).


CNSA is an agency created in 1993 when the Ministry of Aerospace Industry was split into CNSA and the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC). The former was to be responsible for policy, while the latter was to be responsible for execution. This arrangement proved somewhat unsatisfactory, as these two agencies were, in effect, one large agency, sharing both personnel and management.[2]

As part of a massive restructuring in 1998, CASC was split into a number of smaller state-owned companies. The intention appeared to have been to create a system similar to that characteristic of Western defense procurement in which entities which are government agencies, setting operational policy, would then contract out their operational requirements to entities which were government-owned, but not government-managed.[2]

Since the passage of the Wolf Amendment in 2011, NASA has been forced by Congress to implement a long-standing but periodically overcome exclusion policy with CNSA.


CNSA was established as a government institution to develop and fulfill China's due international obligations, with the approval by the 8th National People's Congress of China (NPC). The Ninth NPC assigned CNSA as an internal structure of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND). CNSA assumes the following main responsibilities: signing governmental agreements in the space area on behalf of organizations, inter-governmental scientific and technical exchanges; and also being in charge of the enforcement of national space policies and managing the national space science, technology and industry.

China has signed governmental space cooperation agreements with Brazil, Chile, France, Germany, India, Italy, Pakistan, Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States, and some other countries. Significant achievements have been scored in the bilateral and multilateral and technology exchanges and cooperation.[2]

Administrators of CNSA are appointed by the State Council.


The most recent administrator is Zhang Kejian. Wu Yanhua is vice-administrator and Tian Yulong is secretary general.[3]


There are four departments under the CNSA:

  • Department of General Planning
  • Department of System Engineering
  • Department of Science, Technology and Quality Control
  • Department of Foreign Affairs

CNSA's logo is a similar design to that of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.[6] The arrow in the middle is similar to the Chinese character 人 which means 'human' or 'people', to state that humans are the center of all space exploration. The three concentric ellipses stand for three types of Escape Velocity (minimum speed needed to reach sustainable orbits, to escape the earth system, and to escape the solar system) which are milestones of space exploration. The second ring is drawn with a bold line, to state that China has passed the first stage of exploration (Earth system) and is undergoing the second stage exploration (within the solar system). The 人 character stands above the three rings to emphasize humanity's capability to escape and explore. Olive branches were added to state that China's space exploration is peaceful in nature.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kumar, Chethan (31 January 2020). "China Spent 7 Times More Than India on Space; U.S. 13 Times". The Times of India. Retrieved 1 February 2020. While India's Isro spent about US$1.5 billion in 2018, NASA spent US$19.5 billion and China's CNSA spent US$11 billion
  2. ^ a b c d "Organization and Function". China National Space Administration. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 9 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b "Resume of Administrator". China National Space Administration. Archived from the original on 19 January 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2014.
  4. ^ "Chénqiúfā Rèn Liáoníng Shěng Dài Shěng Zhǎng" 陈求发任辽宁省代省长 [Chen Qiufa Appointed Acting Governor of Liaoning]. People's Daily (in Chinese). 8 May 2015.
  5. ^ "Dr. Ma Xingrui Was Appointed as Administrator of China National Space Administration". China National Space Administration. 19 April 2013. Archived from the original on 23 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Shìjué Shìbié Xìtǒng" 视觉识别系统 [Visual Identification System]. Archived from the original on 27 June 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2009.

External links[edit]