Historic survey ship illuminated along Huangpu River

Yuanwang-1, which was retired in 2010 after accomplishing about 60 aerospace missions, is being exhibited at the former Puxi World Expo 2010 site along Huangpu River.

China’s first-generation aerospace survey ship is lighting up the Huangpu District waterfront.

Yuanwang-1, which was retired in 2010 after accomplishing about 60 aerospace missions, is being exhibited at the former Puxi World Expo 2010 site near Longhua Road E. along Huangpu River. It is being illuminated at night as a historic exhibit.

Pedestrians on the riverside paths can see and admire the well-preserved vessel, but as yet won’t be able to get onboard, the district government said, adding that people will be allowed to do so in future.

The 191-meter-long and 22.6-meter-wide Yuanwang-1 was built in 1977 to survey and remote-control satellites, spacecrafts and rockets from the sea.

The nameplate Yuanwang, which means “look far in the distance,” can be seen on the hull in the style of Chairman Mao Zedong’s handwriting.

The ship was dubbed a “floating science city” because it was equipped with cutting edge radars, laser ranging theodolites and tracking and computer systems. It also has a satellite system for positioning and weather forecasting.

Yuanwang-1 returned to its birthplace at Jiangnan Shipyard on Changxing Island after its retirement in 2010 and was later brought to the shipyard’s downtown site.

Over 3,000 lamps have been hung on the ship to avoid damaging the hull, said Xuan Zhaoli, an official taking charge of the illumination project.

The lamps operate in seven different colors that will change every five seconds to coordinate with illuminations along the riverside region, Xuan said. “The lamps on the bulge are lighter to showcase the appearance of the vessel while those on the deck are dimmer to make it look liking it is floating on the river.”

The ship is also part of a “scenic lamp belt” along the riverside areas on both sides of Huangpu River, said Chen Weiwei, a senior engineer with the city’s landscape affairs center.

A controlling system based on Internet communication and cloud data will operate and coordinate the scenic lamps along the waterfront in future, Chen said.

The 8.3-kilometer-long riverside area in Huangpu is now open to the public. “Huangpu District waterfront will be illuminated in different colors at various hours and seasons as well as holidays,” said Gao Yun, the Party secretary and director of Huangpu.

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