Yang Jiachi

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Yang Jiachi (Chinese: 杨嘉墀; 16 July 1919 – 11 June 2006) was a Chinese aerospace engineer and a specialist in satellite control and automation. A participant in the development of China's first satellites and the developer of the attitude control system for recoverable satellites, he was awarded the Two Bombs, One Satellite Meritorious Medal in 1999. He was an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the International Academy of Astronautics. The asteroid 11637 Yangjiachi is named after him.

Early life and education[edit]

Yang was born on 16 July 1919 in the town of Zhenze in Wujiang, Jiangsu, Republic of China.[1][2][3] After graduating from Shanghai Jiao Tong University in July 1941 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, he pursued postgraduate studies at Harvard University in the United States, earning his M.S. in 1947 and Ph.D. in 1949.[2]


After earning his Ph.D., Yang worked in the US for seven years, first as a research scientist at the University of Pennsylvania and later as a senior engineer at the Rockefeller University.[2]

In 1956, Yang returned to China and worked as a research scientist at the Institute of Automation under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.[2] In 1968, he was transferred to the China Academy of Space Technology to participate in the development of China's first satellites.[2][4] His most important contribution was developing three-axis stabilization for the attitude control systems of recoverable satellites,[2][4] and he also developed control systems for rockets and nuclear weapons testing.[2][4] He was elected a delegate to the Third, Fourth, and Fifth National People's Congresses.[5]

In March 1986, Yang and three other prominent scientists—Wang Daheng, Wang Ganchang, and Chen Fangyun—wrote a letter to Deng Xiaoping advocating the development of strategic technologies.[6] Deng accepted their proposal, which gave birth to the influential 863 Program, named after the date of their letter.[6]

Yang died in Beijing on 11 June 2006 at the age of 86. He was buried at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery.[5]

Honours and recognition[edit]

Yang was elected an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1980, and of the International Academy of Astronautics in 1985. He was conferred the Special Prize of the State Science and Technology Progress Award (1985), the Tan Kah Kee Prize in Information Science (1995), the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for Technological Sciences (1999), and the Two Bombs, One Satellite Meritorious Medal (1999).[2][5][7]

The asteroid 11637 Yangjiachi, discovered by the Beijing Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program in 1996, is named after him.[8]


  1. ^ . Sina. 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h . Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation. 2006. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  3. ^ Ye, Peijian (2006-06-27). . Guangming Daily. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  4. ^ a b c Sullivan, Lawrence R.; Liu, Nancy Y. (2015). Historical Dictionary of Science and Technology in Modern China. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 472. ISBN 978-0-8108-7855-6.
  5. ^ a b c "两弹一星"功勋奖章获得者杨嘉墀院士逝世". Sina. 2006-06-15. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  6. ^ a b Feigenbaum, Evan A. (2003). . Stanford University Press. p. 141. ISBN 978-0-8047-4601-4.
  7. ^ . China Vitae. Retrieved 2019-04-26.
  8. ^ . NASA. 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2019-04-26.

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