Tuesday, January 25, 2011

China to Lead Space Science Research in Future

China has made enormous progress in space science and is likely to take a leading role in some areas of space research in the future, said a French scientist via China Daily.

The Solar Polar Orbit Radio Telescope (SPORT) project is a good example of the changes in China's leadership in space science cooperation, Prof. Roger M. Bonnet, Executive Director of the Switzerland-based International Space Science Institute (ISSI), said in an interview with Xinhua.

The SPORT project was first proposed by Chinese scientists with the Center for Space Science and Applied Research (CSSAR) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2005.

Bonnet said scientists from the United States, Japan, Russia and Europe had participated in the preliminary research and discussion for the SPORT proposal.

According to Wu Ji, Chief Director of CSSAR, the SPORT project will launch a satellite loaded with remote-sensing equipment to observe solar winds from the polar orbit of the sun.

This could be the world's first exploration to observe solar winds from above, instead of the previous practices to observe amid the ecliptic plane where most of the erupted solar corona materials are distributed.

The remote-sensing equipment could collect information about not only the ecliptic plane, but also the images of and around the coronal mass ejections (CMEs), thus offering researchers a more comprehensive view on the distribution of solar winds, Wu said.

Moreover, the Chinese-designed remote-sensing equipment could offer images with better definitions.

"We are still doing preliminary research for the project, and we expect that the satellite could be launched before 2020," Wu said.

Bonnet said China's successfully holding the 36th Scientific Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council for Science in 2006 was another landmark of China's progress in space science.


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