““Simple prestige is certainly a key driver in a lot of China’s space programs, in particular the manned space program,” said Mark Stokes, the executive director of the Project 2049 Institute… “It’s also a way to mobilize resources and to concentrate resources in a way that could result in certain types of spinoff technologies.”

“Above all, China has been learning how to orchestrate complicated engineering tasks and to surmount the poor bureaucratic coordination that has often frustrated such efforts, said Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation in Washington who has studied China’s space programs.

““We in the U.S., in the West, tend to focus on the widget aspect of China’s space progress,” Mr. Cheng said. “But I would say that what we sometimes miss is how important these organizational changes are. All the Chinese space efforts are efforts at improving their systems engineering.””

If nothing else, I find the names China gives to their space missions charming.