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China honors top scientists

A MATHEMATICIAN and a rocket scientist today won China's top State Scientific and Technological Award for 2009.

Mathematician Gu Chaohao, 84, and Sun Jiadong, 81, who was named the "father of China's satellites" were awarded 5 million yuan (US$730,000) each by President Hu Jintao at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Gu and Sun are both members of the Chinese Academy of Science.

Gu taught at Shanghai's Fudan University and served as its vice head. In the 1950s, he switched his research to partial differential equations, and helped formulate the theories behind the design of China's supersonic aircraft.

In October, 2009, a small planet was named after him and he still has three postgraduate students.

Sun, known as the founder of China's space technology, Sun served as a Russian translator when first recruited to the Air Force in 1947.

Sun was the chief designer of China's first space satellite DFH-1. He was chief engineer for 34 of China's 100 satellite launches and designed China's moon probe project in 2003, ushering in the era of deep space exploration.


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