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‘China to lead space science research in future’

Beijing, China: 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, observes Prof. Roger M. Bonnet, Executive Director of Switzerland-based International Space Science Institute (ISSI).

According to Prof. Roger, Solar Polar Orbit Radio Telescope (SPORT) project is a good example of the changes in China’s leadership in space science cooperation. Prof. Roger was in an interview with Xinhua.

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.

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.

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 US, Japan, Russia and Europe had participated in the preliminary research and discussion for the SPORT proposal.

Bonnet added 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.

Bonnet was recently in Beijing to receive the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award of the People’s Republic of China, among this year’s five winners of this award, which was presented by China’s State Council Friday to foreign scientists for their undertakings in science and technology cooperation with China.

Bonnet was awarded for his outstanding contribution in pushing forward the cooperation in space science between Europe and China.

“Probably what is needed most for China to now develop its space science are more initiatives, just like the initiative in the SPORT project. It will dramatically increase the level and the quantity of our cooperation,” Bonnet said.

Source: China Daily