Tu Shou'e

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Tu Shou'e
Born(1917-12-05)December 5, 1917
DiedDecember 15, 2012(2012-12-15) (aged 95)
Alma materSouthwestern Associated University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Known forparticipant in the Two Bombs, One Satellite Project
Scientific career
InstitutionsSouthwestern Associated University
Tsinghua University
Beijing Institute of Aeronautics
China Aerospace Science & Technology Corporation
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese屠守鍔
Simplified Chinese屠守锷

Tu Shou'e or Shou-ngo Tu (Chinese: 屠守锷; 1917–2012) was a Chinese rocket scientist and specialist in structural mechanics. Tu is famous as the chief designer of the Long March 2 rocket and China's intercontinental ballistic missile.[1][2][3]

Together with Liang Shoupan, Huang Weilu and Ren Xinmin, Tu is considered one of the "Four Elders of China's Aerospace".[4] They were granted the Two Bombs and One Satellite Merit Medal in 1999. Tu was elected as a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1991.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Tu was born in Nanxun, Huzhou, Zhejiang in 1917. After completed his primary education in Zhejiang, he studied at Shanghai High School. The pervading sense of Japanese menace germinated an idea that China should have the independent capacity to manufacture plane in his mind. He was admitted to Tsinghua University in 1936 and entered its Aeronautical Engineering Department in 1938.[5][6]


After graduation, Tu worked at an aeronautical institute in Chengdu. He went to MIT in 1941 with full scholarship and received master's degree there. Then Tu served Curtiss-Wright Corporation as a stress analyst, but he backed to China following the surrender of Japan in 1945, teaching at his alma mater as an associate professor and then a professor.[5]

Tu reached Beijing after the university. Since the Adjustment of University Colleges & Departments in 1952, he was assigned to Beijing Aviation Institute. He had served successively as vice dean, dean and the assistant of president there.

Later Tu was invited to serve the Fifth Academy of the Ministry of Defence in 1957. From then on, Tu plunged himself into Chinese missile and aerospace project, especially its system design aspect. He was the deputy chief designer of Dongfeng 2 and Dongfeng 3, also the chief designer of Dongfeng 5 and Long March 2. He made several significant breakthrough in the field.[7]

The vicissitudes of his life in the decade never rob his enthusiasm for search. He once completely absorbed in the formula during a struggle session, ignoring the impassioned speech.

Tu felt very sorry for the Columbia disaster in 2003, but he also insisted that the progress of space science is unstoppable, while China "is still on track to launch its first manned spacecraft".[8]


Tu joined in the CPC in 1948.[1]

Tu enjoyed tai chi and classic music. He and his wife, Qiu Su (Chinese: 秋粟), had five children.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "屠守锷院士 (in Chinese)". Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
  2. ^ "屠守锷院士(已故, in Chinese)". China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp. (CASIC).
  3. ^ "屠守锷逝世 "航天四老"又走一位 (in Chinese)". Beijing Daily. December 18, 2012.
  4. ^ "Top rocket scientist dies, age 102". China Daily. 14 February 2017.
  5. ^ a b "中国科学院院士屠守锷漫谈人生(实录, in Chinese)". Tencent.
  6. ^ "19日中科院院士屠守锷漫谈人生经历 (in Chinese)". Tencent.
  7. ^ ""东风"犹记长空志——社会各界送别"两弹一星"元勋屠守锷院士 (in Chinese)". Xinhua News.
  8. ^ "Space probes to continue". China Daily. March 5, 2003.
  9. ^ "这位功勋科学家 这位温柔的父亲,走了 (in Chinese)". Qianjiang Evening News. December 18, 2012.