WASHINGTON (CN) – A 69-year-old physicist has been sentenced to four years in prison for passing to information to China on cryogenic fuel systems used in space launches, information likely to help the Chinese in developing their space launch site on the southern island of Hainan.
Shu Quan Sheng, 68, illegally exported information between 2003 and 2007 about a cryogenic fueling system used to lower the temperature of volatile fuels so they stay in a liquid state. The system can be used for spaceship launches.
The information is expected to help the Chinese in developing a space launch facility in the southern island province of Hainan, where they will launch satellites and space stations, says the press release.
Sheng also offered bribes in 2006 valued at more than $189 thousand to Chinese officials to secure a $4 million contract for his company, AMAC, to build a liquid hydrogen tank system. The company won the contract in 2007.
Sheng was a Chinese citizen before he was naturalized in the United States.
Sentenced earlier this week, he pleaded guilty to the charges in November and has already paid more than $386 thousand.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Salsbury is handling the case, presided over by Judge Henry Morgan in the Eastern District of Virginia.