Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Father of Chinese Rocketry

A life in interesting times: Tsien with Marble (right)
at Los Angeles Harbor in September 1955, preparing
to board ship to China.

Tsien Revisited

First he was accused, then detained, then deported. Any of this sound familiar?

But there was a twist to this tale. A Caltech professor talks about his long friendship with the Caltech-trained scientist who became the “father of Chinese rocketry."

This past December, Frank Marble, PhD ’48, and his wife, Ora Lee, went to China to visit and help honor their longtime friend Tsien Hsue-Shen, PhD ’39. Many Caltechers, along with Americans who lived through the Red Scare days of the ’50s, have at least a glancing familiarity with Tsien’s story: a brilliant student and later colleague of aerospace pioneer Theodore von Kármán, commended by the U.S. Air Force for his contributions to its technological development after World War II, the Chinese-born scientist was accused of harboring Communist sympathies and stripped of his security clearance in 1950. Tsien and those who knew him best said that the allegations were nonsense, and no evidence ever came to light to substantiate them. Despite that, and over a barrage of protests from colleagues in academia, government, and industry, the INS placed him under a delayed deportation order, and for the next five years he and family lived under U.S. government surveillance and partial house arrest. In September 1955 they were permitted to leave for China.

Received with open arms in his homeland, Tsien resumed his research, founded the Institute of Mechanics, and, as one of the world’s leading authorities in aeronautics, went on to become the “father” of China’s missile program, a trusted member of the government and Party’s inner circle, and the nation’s “most honored scientist.”

Early in the INS saga, Tsien and his wife had planned to visit China so that their parents could meet their American-born grandchildren for the first time. But the INS impounded his luggage and charged him with concealing classified documents—the most “secret” of which, suspected of containing security codes, turned out upon inspection to be a table of logarithms. In the meantime the FBI had decided that Tsien posed a security risk and imprisoned him in San Pedro; he was freed two weeks later after Caltech president Lee DuBridge, among others, flew to Washington to intervene on his behalf. These incidents undoubtedly helped Tsien to conclude, as he confided to friends, that he had become “an unwelcome guest” in the country in which he had spent his whole scientific life. In any case, he was determined to avoid such problems again, and when he sailed to China, he deliberately left all of his research notes and papers behind.

Tsien dining with Mao.

Among the handful of people who saw the Tsien family off in 1955 were Frank and Ora Lee Marble. Marble and Tsien had struck up a warm friendship as aeronautics colleagues, and the Tsien family had stayed at the Marbles’ Pasadena home during their final weeks in the United States. After Tsien’s departure, he and Marble corresponded intermittently; then, with the onset of the Cultural Revolution in China, Marble stopped hearing from him. In 1979 Caltech named Tsien a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his pioneering work in rocket science, but Tsien, although he sent a gracious acknowledgment, did not come to campus to collect it.

Time passes. In 1981, Frank and Ora Lee received an invitation from the Chinese Academy of Sciences to come to Beijing and teach combustion technology and English. respectively, at the Academy’s newly established Graduate School of Science and Technology, a small research institute partly modeled on Caltech. Shortly afterward, the Marble and Tsien families were reunited for the first time in 25 years. Marble recalls his feelings before they met. “We had had very different experiences and lived in such different circumstances. Would our old, easygoing friendship and discussions resume? Or was that something that just wasn’t going to happen?” After half an hour, he says, he had his answer. “There was no obstacle.”

Tsien with Marble in Beijing in 1991.

The two families kept in touch after that and saw each other again in China in 1991. In the years since Tsien had returned to China, Marble had taken on the project of collecting and organizing the extensive research notes—two large file cabinets worth, it turned out—that Tsien had left at Caltech. Tsien repeatedly said he did not want them back, telling Marble at their 1981 reunion, “Frank, American students need them much more than Chinese students.” A decade or so ago, however, he had a change of heart, and, with the help of Tsien’s colleague Cheng Che-Min, PhD ’52, Marble returned the collection to China. Some papers went to the Institute of Mechanics, founded decades earlier by Tsien, and others now form the core holdings of the Tsien Library, which the Chinese government had established at Xi’an Jiatong University, about 600 miles southwest of Beijing. The Chinese Academy of Sciences subsequently brought out selections from the collection as an elegant, coffee table-type book entitled Manuscripts of H. S. Tsien 1938–1955, whose publication coincided with the December 2001 symposium cele-brating Tsien’s 90th birthday.

In December 2001, receiving Caltech’s Distinguished
Alumni Award. From left, Tsien, Ora Lee Marble,
Frank Marble, and Tsien’s wife, Tsiang Ying.

When Marble went to visit Tsien for that event, he went both as a friend and as the official emissary of Caltech and President Baltimore, bringing with him the Distinguished Alumni Award that the Institute had presented to Tsien in absentia 23 years ago. Tsien is now permanently confined to bed, so Marble made the formal presentation at his bedside in a ceremony that received widespread coverage in China, and at last provided a fitting coda to Tsien’s long, complicated, and never completely sundered association with Caltech.



Marble, who is Caltech’s Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Jet Propulsion, Emeritus, spoke with Caltech News editor Heidi Aspaturian about his recent trip and earlier visits with Tsien in China.

Tsien does not speak much English any more, but his family tells me that he still understands it quite well. He was thoroughly aware that I was presenting Caltech’s highest honor to him at the official request of David Baltimore, and I think he was deeply impressed with and appreciative of that.

We weren’t able to talk much during my most recent visit, but when I saw him in 1991 and again in 1996, we had some very interesting conversations. I think in general we both felt less constrained than we had during our reunion in 1981. One comment he made to me in 1991 particularly stands out: “You know, Frank, we’ve done a lot for China. People have enough food. They’re working and progress is being made. But Frank, they’re not happy.” He felt very bad about that—almost, I think, a little bit responsible for it, although it was not an area he was involved in at all. His area of activity was military and civilian rocketry, and this was strictly a personal observation. That was about as far as he ever went in saying that things were not ideal.

He obviously has good memories of Caltech. He speaks of the Institute most fondly, and I think that he feels that his time on campus was one of the most enjoyable of his life. In a letter that his wife, Tsiang Ying, wrote us after our recent visit, she said that Tsien still loves to reminisce about Theodore von Kármán and the wonderful times he had at Caltech and to tell the old von Kármán jokes. So I think he stills feels very emotionally tied to the Institute. But it’s important to remember that during the entire five-year episode with the INS, Caltech was very good to him. The Institute continued to honor his professorship and to respect his reputation. My understanding is that Lee DuBridge, who vigorously supported Tsien, had difficulties with the Board of Trustees, some of whose members were embarrassed by Tsien’s situation.

Once Tsien returned to China, I don’t think he ever made another trip West. He did travel once to the Soviet Union. Evidently he did not endear himself to his hosts, and he never went back. Otherwise, so far as I know, he did not leave China. I would guess that this was largely by choice—he never was a great one for traveling. I think that he felt he had so many things to do at home that he had no real desire to go elsewhere.

Tsien never spoke to me about how his life and scientific career in America had ended. He was not a person for looking back or for ruminating about how things might have been. He was very much a realist, and my feeling is that he just tuned those last five years in America out. I do know that he felt, at least when all this started, that he would be able to do better work in the United States than he would initially in China, where research conditions at the time were very primitive. I believe that once he returned to China, what he found there was pretty much what he had expected. But he did have very able people working with him. Many of them had studied in the United States, and they were devoted to him. I met a few of those who had worked with him in the early days, and they had the highest praise for the way he had laid out and directed the program for rocketry development. I think that Tsien also had the great personal advantage of being technically and scientifically on top of things, and he also had the ear of the government. By virtue of his expertise and reputation he could convince officials of what needed to be done and accomplish things that other people couldn’t.

He did not talk about his experiences during that era. We were both very careful to avoid discussion about anything that touched on sensitive issues. We would talk about every other subject—family, music, literature, and some scientific work that was mutually interesting. He was very enthusiastic and intrigued about some of the work I was doing on combustion processes in vortex flows and told me, “Frank, you have been more honest to von Kármán than I have.” What he meant was that I was still involved in the fundamental research areas that von Kármán had worked in, but that he
was now in a very different mode of operation.

Tsien, of course, became a high-ranking, trusted Party official, but it was evident that he had had trouble during the Cultural Revolution. I heard from his colleagues, but never directly from him, that like many leading scientists and intellectuals, he wrote one or two letters of “confession.” Ying, his wife, had a very interesting experience. She was head of the Western Vocal Music Department at the Beijing Conservatory, and commuted between work and home on a motorbike. Apparently the Red Guard was after her in some way and so for several months—maybe as long as a year—she just lived at the conservatory until she thought it was safe to go out again. Her students brought her food and other necessities.

I also spoke to one of Tsien’s close colleagues, Ch’ien Wei-Zhang. He had earned his doctorate in Canada, was a postdoc at Caltech, and had worked with Tsien at JPL. He also went back to China and pursued a very productive career there. During the Cultural Revolution, the Red Guard accused him of all sorts of things, and he wound up spending some time in the countryside, stoking an open-hearth furnace for a time at a steel-manufacturing facility. He had a very difficult time of it. So both Tsien’s family and his research circle were affected, although Tsien himself does not talk about that period beyond referring to it as “the 10 lost years.”

Many people have said that during his last years in Pasadena Tsien was bitter. I never sensed that. He was no doubt hurt, but I never saw him brooding about it. It was something that had happened, and, as he saw it, he had to react in a way that was appropriate. When he felt he was no longer welcome, he resigned from all the technical societies and sometimes his letters were a bit curt. That was about the extent of it. Apart from the first six months between the cancellation of his security clearance and the INS hearing, he and his family more or less went on with their lives as usual. Their circle of acquaintances and friends did narrow, which must have been hard. A lot of his former colleagues had become a bit afraid of associating with him socially.

His children were both born here, and they have spent time in the United States as adults. His son did graduate work at Caltech. His daughter studied medicine on the East Coast and has had quite a successful practice there, but she recently decided she would return to China this summer. Each of them now has a little boy. One of the tender-est pictures I have of Tsien shows him sitting in the backseat of his chauffeur-driven car with one arm around each little four-year-old grandson.

I do think that after his problems with the INS, Tsien lost faith in the American government, but I believe that he has always had very warm feelings for the American people. That came through again and again in the public statements he made, both here during the INS hearings, and after he returned to China. But once he went back to China, I don’t think he wanted ever to deal with the United States in an official capacity again. When Caltech’s former president Harold Brown visited China as secretary of defense in 1980, Tsien avoided seeing him. When I saw him the next year, I said, “Tsien, you made a big error. Harold Brown is a great admirer of yours and a brilliant guy.” And he said, “I know. It was a mistake on my part.” But that is how he felt about it.

Looking back, I think the most remarkable aspect of the five years he was detained is the resilience with which he returned to his teaching and research, making this period one of his most productive and innovative. He was instrumentally involved in the development of the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Jet Propulsion Center, Caltech’s academic focus of instruction and research in jet propulsion.

There’s always been a kind of single-mindedness about his work. He decides what is to be done and he organizes it and does it. He does not stop to think halfway through, is this really what I should be working on? And I believe he adopted the same attitude once he returned to China. He did not take time to indulge in speculation or fantasies about “what might have been.” He never indicated to me that he had. He was confronted with a new set of problems, and he devoted himself to working full time to solve them.

ian Xuesen obituary

Scientist regarded as the father of China's space programme

* Buzz up!
* Digg it

* Kerry Brown
* guardian.co.uk, Sunday 1 November 2009 18.31 GMT
* Article history

Qian Xuesen

Qian Xuesen in 1955. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

Qian Xuesen, who has died aged 98, was one of the greatest Chinese scientists of the modern era, and a man widely regarded as the father of China's missile and space programme. His life spanned nearly a century, from the final few days of the Qing Dynasty, through the Republican period, from 1912 to 1949, and on to the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It also embodied the conflicts between the US and China, the two countries where he was to be based most of his life, and between which he was forced, finally, to choose.

Qian was the son of a government official, born in the city of Hangzhou in the coastal province of Zhejiang. He was educated at Shanghai Jiaotong University, and, in 1935, with the help of a scholarship, went first to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, and then, a year later, to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he was to be awarded his doctorate, and be based for the next two decades.

It was while in California, during the second world war, that his research concentrated on jet propulsion. With a number of other key US scientists, responding to the German V1 and V2 rockets, he devised a range of highly effective missiles, which proved crucial in the final stages of the war effort. Qian also participated in the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bomb. As a result of this, he was made the first director of the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Jet Propulsion Centre at Caltech in 1949.

In the same year, however, the communists won their final push to become rulers of the PRC, exiling the Nationalist leadership under Chiang Kai-shek, whom the US had largely supported, to the island of Taiwan. Qian was immediately suspected of being a communist sympathiser, with claims being made that his name had appeared on Communist party documents as early as the late 1930s. His application for US citizenship was subsequently denied, and he was detained after applying to leave America. One US official at the time called this the "stupidest thing this country ever did". In 1955, Qian was allowed to return to China.

The US's loss (one of Qian's colleagues in the 1930s had called Qian a scientist of genius) was China's gain, at a critical period in its development. Qian was immediately allowed to establish an Institute of Mechanics in Beijing, and to work within the state-established Chinese Academy of Science. His skills and knowledge were absolutely critical at a time when many of China's most talented scientists had refused to return home because of the political changes that had taken place there. A symbol of the respect and trust Qian enjoyed was his admission to the Communist party in 1958. He started work on what was to become the Dongfeng missile.

As a result both of his work, and of support from the Soviet Union (despite the fact that relations between these two countries had deteriorated badly in the late 1950s), China was able to test its own atomic bomb in 1963-64. A mere 15 years after its founding, it had joined the elite nuclear club. This was a seminal moment in the country's development.

Qian seems to have been largely unaffected by the tumult of the Cultural Revolution, from 1966, probably because he was working in such a key national strategic area. While chaos reigned in the rest of China, military and technical research continued unaffected.

In 2009, as China is preparing to build a space exploration launch pad on the island of Hainan, and has set itself the aim of getting a Chinese man on the moon in the next decade, Qian's contribution to China's space and missile programme should not be underestimated. Much of the technology behind the Shenzhou rockets, launched into space from the 1990s onwards to much national fanfare, can be traced back to research that Qian undertook. And much of that was based on what he had studied in the US during his 20 years there.

After his retirement in 1991, he maintained a low profile, despite being garlanded with awards. He is survived by his wife, the highly acclaimed Beijing opera singer Jiang Ying.

• ian Xuesen obituary

Scientist regarded as the father of China's space programme

* Buzz up!
* Digg it

* Kerry Brown
* guardian.co.uk, Sunday 1 November 2009 18.31 GMT
* Article history

Qian Xuesen

Qian Xuesen in 1955. Photograph: Bettmann/Corbis

Qian Xuesen, who has died aged 98, was one of the greatest Chinese scientists of the modern era, and a man widely regarded as the father of China's missile and space programme. His life spanned nearly a century, from the final few days of the Qing Dynasty, through the Republican period, from 1912 to 1949, and on to the 60th anniversary of the People's Republic of China (PRC). It also embodied the conflicts between the US and China, the two countries where he was to be based most of his life, and between which he was forced, finally, to choose.

Qian was the son of a government official, born in the city of Hangzhou in the coastal province of Zhejiang. He was educated at Shanghai Jiaotong University, and, in 1935, with the help of a scholarship, went first to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US, and then, a year later, to the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), where he was to be awarded his doctorate, and be based for the next two decades.

It was while in California, during the second world war, that his research concentrated on jet propulsion. With a number of other key US scientists, responding to the German V1 and V2 rockets, he devised a range of highly effective missiles, which proved crucial in the final stages of the war effort. Qian also participated in the Manhattan Project, which developed the first atomic bomb. As a result of this, he was made the first director of the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Jet Propulsion Centre at Caltech in 1949.

In the same year, however, the communists won their final push to become rulers of the PRC, exiling the Nationalist leadership under Chiang Kai-shek, whom the US had largely supported, to the island of Taiwan. Qian was immediately suspected of being a communist sympathiser, with claims being made that his name had appeared on Communist party documents as early as the late 1930s. His application for US citizenship was subsequently denied, and he was detained after applying to leave America. One US official at the time called this the "stupidest thing this country ever did". In 1955, Qian was allowed to return to China.

The US's loss (one of Qian's colleagues in the 1930s had called Qian a scientist of genius) was China's gain, at a critical period in its development. Qian was immediately allowed to establish an Institute of Mechanics in Beijing, and to work within the state-established Chinese Academy of Science. His skills and knowledge were absolutely critical at a time when many of China's most talented scientists had refused to return home because of the political changes that had taken place there. A symbol of the respect and trust Qian enjoyed was his admission to the Communist party in 1958. He started work on what was to become the Dongfeng missile.

As a result both of his work, and of support from the Soviet Union (despite the fact that relations between these two countries had deteriorated badly in the late 1950s), China was able to test its own atomic bomb in 1963-64. A mere 15 years after its founding, it had joined the elite nuclear club. This was a seminal moment in the country's development.

Qian seems to have been largely unaffected by the tumult of the Cultural Revolution, from 1966, probably because he was working in such a key national strategic area. While chaos reigned in the rest of China, military and technical research continued unaffected.

In 2009, as China is preparing to build a space exploration launch pad on the island of Hainan, and has set itself the aim of getting a Chinese man on the moon in the next decade, Qian's contribution to China's space and missile programme should not be underestimated. Much of the technology behind the Shenzhou rockets, launched into space from the 1990s onwards to much national fanfare, can be traced back to research that Qian undertook. And much of that was based on what he had studied in the US during his 20 years there.

After his retirement in 1991, he maintained a low profile, despite being garlanded with awards. He is survived by his wife, the highly acclaimed Beijing opera singer Jiang Ying.

• Qian Xuesen, rocket scientist, born 11 December 1911; died 31 October 2009, rocket scientist, born 11 December 1911; died 31 October 2009

Biography: Qian xuesen (Tsien Hsue-shen)

Tsien Hsue-shen (simplified Chinese: 钱学森; traditional Chinese: 錢學森; pinyin: Qián Xuésēn) (11 December 1911 – 31 October 2009) was a scientist who made important contributions to the missile and space programs of both the United States and People's Republic of China. NASA documents commonly refer to him as H.S. Tsien.[1]

During the 1940s Tsien was one of the founders of Jet Propulsion Laboratory[2] at the California Institute of Technology. During the red scare of the 1950s the United States government accused Tsien of having communist sympathies. Tsien was wrongfully imprisoned [3] at Alcatraz. Stripped of his security clearance, Tsien decided to go back to China. After being under house arrest for 5 years, from 1950-55, Tsien was released in exchange for the return of US pilots captured during the Korean war. Notified by U.S. authorities that he was free to go, Tsien immediately arranged to go back to China in September of 1955 on American President Lines, Pres. Cleveland via Hong Kong. He returned to China and led the Chinese rocket program, and became known as the "Father of Chinese Rocketry" (or "King of Rocketry").

Asteroid 3763 Qianxuesen was named after him.

Early life and education

Tsien Hsue-shen (pinyin: Qian Xuesen) was born in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, 180 km southwest of Shanghai. He left Hangzhou at the age of three when his father obtained a post in the Ministry of Education in Beijing. He graduated from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 1934 and in August 1935 Tsien Hsue-shen left China on a Boxer Rebellion Indemnity Scholarship to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In 1936 Tsien Hsue-shen went to the California Institute of Technology to commence graduate studies on the referral of Theodore von Kármán. Tsien obtained his doctorate in 1939 and would remain at Caltech for 20 years, ultimately becoming the Goddard Professor and establishing a reputation as one of the leading rocket scientists in the United States.

It was shortly after arriving at Caltech that Tsien was attracted to the rocketry ideas of Frank Malina and a few other students of von Kármán, and their associates, including Jack Parsons. Around Caltech the dangerous and explosive nature of their work earned them the nickname "Suicide Squad."

Career in the United States

Left to right: Ludwig Prandtl (German scientist), Tsien Hsue-sen, Theodore von Kármán. Prandtl served for Germany during the World War II; von Kármán and Tsien served for US Army; after 1956, Tsien served for China. Notice that at that time Tsien had US Army rank. Interestingly, Prandtl was doctoral advisor for von Kármán; von Kármán was doctoral advisor for Tsien.

In 1943, Tsien and two others in the Caltech rocketry group drafted the first document to use the name Jet Propulsion Laboratory; it was a proposal to the Army to develop missiles in response to Germany's V-2 rocket. This led to the Private A, which flew in 1944, and later the Corporal, the WAC Corporal, etc.

During the Second World War, he was amongst many scientists who participated in the "Manhattan Project".[citation needed]

After World War II he served under von Kármán as a consultant to the United States Army Air Force, and was eventually given the "assimilated rank of colonel". Von Kármán and Tsien were sent by the Army to Germany to investigate the progress of wartime aerodynamics research. Tsien investigated research facilities and interviewed German scientists such as Wernher von Braun and Rudolph Hermann.[4] Von Kármán wrote of Tsien, “At the age of 36, he was an undisputed genius whose work was providing an enormous impetus to advances in high-speed aerodynamics and jet propulsion.”[2]

During this time, Colonel Tsien worked on a designing an intercontinental space plane Tsien Space Plane 1949. His work would inspire the X-20 Dyna-Soar which would later be the inspiration for the Space Shuttle.

Jiang Ying in 1947

In 1947 Tsien Hsue-shen married Jiang Ying (蒋英), a famed opera singer and the daughter of Jiang Baili (蒋百里) - one of Chinese nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek's leading military strategists, and his Japanese wife.

In 1949, Tsien became the first Director of the Daniel and Florence Guggenheim Jet Propulsion Center at Caltech [5].

Soon after Tsien applied for U.S. citizenship in 1949, allegations were made that he was a communist and his security clearance was revoked. The Federal Bureau of Investigation located a 1938 US Communist Party document with his name on it. Tsien found himself unable to pursue his career and within two weeks announced plans to return to China. After his announcement, the U.S. government imprisoned him on the isolated island off Long Beach. Undersecretary of the Navy Dan Kimball tried to keep Tsien in the U.S. commenting "It was the stupidest thing this country ever did...he was no more a Communist than I was and we forced him to go."[6]

Tsien became the subject of five years of secret diplomacy and negotiation between the U.S. and China. During this time he lived under virtual house arrest. Tsien found himself in conflict with the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, including an arrest for carrying secret documents which ultimately turned out to be simple logarithmic tables. During his incarceration Tsien received support from his colleagues at Caltech including Caltech President Lee DuBridge, who flew to Washington to argue Tsien's case. Caltech appointed attorney Grant Cooper to defend Tsien. Later, Cooper would say, "That the government permitted this genius, this scientific genius, to be sent to Communist China to pick his brains is one of the tragedies of this century."[7]

[edit] Return to China

In 1955 Tsien was released and deported from the United States together with his wife and their two American-born children as a part of post-Korean war negotiations to free American prisoners of war held by China. He went to work as head of the Chinese missile program immediately upon his arrival in China. Tsien deliberately left his research papers behind when he left the United States. Tsien joined the Communist Party of China in 1958.

Tsien established the Institute of Mechanics and began to retrain Chinese engineers in the techniques he had learned in the United States and retool the infrastructure of the Chinese program. Within a year Tsien submitted a proposal to the PRC government to establish a ballistic missile program. This proposal was accepted and Tsien was named the first director of the program in late 1956. By 1958 Tsien had finalized the plans of the Dongfeng missile which was first successfully launched in 1964 just prior to China's first successful nuclear weapons test. Tsien's program was also responsible for the development of the widespread Silkworm missile. Tsien also contributed a great deal to the PRC's state of Higher Education. He was the first Chairman of the Department of Mechanics of University of Science & Technology of China (USTC), a new type of university established by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) after the founding of PRC and aimed at fostering high-level personnel of science and technology necessary for the development of the national economy, national defense construction, and education in science and technology.

In 1979 Tsien was awarded Caltech's Distinguished Alumni Award. In the early 1990s the filing cabinets containing Tsien's research work were offered to him by Caltech. At first Tsien refused but was finally convinced by his former colleagues to accept the work. Most of these works became the foundation for the Tsien Library at Xi'an Jiaotong University while the rest went to the Institute of Mechanics. Tsien eventually received his award from Caltech, and with the help of his friend Frank Marble brought it to his home in a widely-covered ceremony. Tsien was also invited to visit the US after the normalization of Sino-US relationship. But he refused the invitation because the US government only offered a compensation without apology for his detainment.

Tsien retired in 1991 and maintained a low public profile in Beijing, China.

The PRC government launched its manned space program in 1992 and used Tsien's research as the basis for the Long March rocket which successfully launched the Shenzhou V mission in October 2003. The elderly Tsien was able to watch China's first manned space mission on television from his hospital bed.

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, in his novel 2010: Odyssey Two, named a Chinese spaceship after him.

[edit] Late life

In his later years, since the 1980s, Tsien advocated scientific investigation of traditional Chinese medicine, Qigong and "special human body functions". Some people claim that Tsien actually did not spend his effort on Qigong, but that he just expressed that people should consider the widely spread and practiced Qigong in a scientific manner.

In 2008, he was named Aviation Week and Space Technology Person of the Year. This selection is not intended as an honour but is given to the person judged to have the greatest impact on aviation in the past year.[8][2]

In 2008, China Central Television named Tsien as one of the eleven most inspiring people in China.[9] He died at the age of 97 on 31 October 2009.

[edit] Scientific papers

  • Tsien HS Two-dimensional subsonic flow of compressible fluids // Aeronaut. Sci. 1939
  • Von Karman T, Tsien HS. The buckling of thin cylindrical shells under axial compression. J Aeronaut Sci 1941
  • Tsien, HS 1943 Symmetrical Joukowsky Airfoils in shear flow. Q. Appl. Math.
  • Tsien, HS, "On the Design of the Contraction Cone for a Wind Tunnel," J. Aeronaut. Sci., 10, 68-70, 1943
  • Von Karman, T. and Tsien, HS, "Lifting- line Theory for a Wing in Nonuniform Flow," Quarterly of Applied Mathematics, Vol. 3, 1945
  • Tsien, HS: Similarity laws of hypersonic flows. J. Math. Phys. 25, 247-251, (1946).
  • Tsien, HS 1952 The transfer functions of rocket nozzles. J. Am. Rocket Soc
  • Tsien, HS, "Rockets and Other Thermal Jets Using Nuclear Energy", The Science and Engineering of Nuclear Power, Addison-Wesley Vol.11, 1949
  • Tsien, HS, “Take-Off from Satellite Orbit,” Journal of the American. Rocket Society, Vol. 23, No. 4, 1953
  • Tsien, HS 1956 The Poincaré-Lighthill-Kuo Method, Advances in Appl. Mech.
  • Tsien, HS, 1958, "The equations of gas dynamics."
  • Tsien, HS, "Rockets and Other Thermal Jets using Nuclear Energy", The Science and Engineering of Nuclear Power, Addison-Wesley

[edit] Monographs

  • Engineering Cybernetics,Tsien, H.S. McGraw Hill, 1954
  • Tsien, H.S. Technische Kybernetik. Übersetzt von Dr. H. Kaltenecker. Berliner Union Stuttgart 1957
  • ТЕХНИЧЕСКАЯ КИБЕРНЕТИКА
  • Hydrodynamic manuscript facimile, Jiatong University Press, 2007 ISBN 978-7-313-04199-9

[edit] References

  • Chang, Iris (1995). Thread of the Silkworm. Perseus Books Group. ISBN 0-465-08716-7.
  • O'Donnell, Franklin (2002). JPL 101. California Institute of Technology. JPL 400-1048.
  • Harvey, Brian (2004). China's Space Program: From Conception to Manned Spaceflight. Springer-Verlag. ISBN 1-85233-566-1.
  1. ^ "Biographies of Aerospace Officials and Policymakers". NASA. http://history.nasa.gov/biost-z.html.
  2. ^ a b c Perrett, Bradley (2008-01-06). "Qian Xuesen Laid Foundation For Space Rise in China". Aviation Week & Space Technology. http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/generic/story_generic.jsp?channel=awst&id=news/aw010708p1.xml.
  3. ^ Perrett, B. (January 7, 2008), Sea Change, Aviation Week and Space Technology, Vol. 168, No. 1, p.57-61.
  4. ^ Chang, p109-117.
  5. ^ http://www.galcit.caltech.edu/history/index.html
  6. ^ Perrett, B. (January 7, 2008), Sea Change, Aviation Week and Space Technology, Vol. 168, No. 1, p.57-61.
  7. ^ Naval War College China's Nuclear Force Modernization
  8. ^ Hold Your Fire, Aviation Week and Space Technology, Vol. 168., No. 1, January 7, 2008, p. 8.
  9. ^ Person of the Year, Aviation Week and Space Technology, Vol. 168., No. 12, March 24, 2008, p. 22

[edit] External links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tsien_Hsue-shen

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