BEIJING, November 21 (Xinhua) — Manned spaceflights refer to
human beings’ flights beyond the Earth’s atmosphere by space
vehicles for the missions of exploration, experiment, research and
production as well as military applications.

By getting over the blockage of the atmosphere and the gravity
of the earth, the space flights expand the scope of human
activities from the land, ocean and atmosphere of the earth to the
outer space and help the man better recognize the universe.

The flights are also used to conduct various kinds of
researches and experiments in the unique environment of the space
and the manned spacecraft, in order to explore the space and its
abundant resources.

Manned space vessels can be divided into manned spaceships,
manned space stations and space shuttles, according to their

A manned spaceship, or manned satellite or lunar lander, can
cater to one man or several crew members, while a manned space
stations normally can accommodate several astronauts. A manned
spaceship can serve as a space station and is reusable.

In the past, only Russia and the United States had the
technology of manned spaceflight.

The former Soviet Union launched the world’s first manned
spaceship on April 12, 1961. Yuri Gagarin made one circle around
the earth and returned to the ground safely.

On February 20, 1962, the United States launched its first
manned spaceship.

Before launching their manned spacecraft, the two countries had
conducted a series of unmanned test flights in the space.