China released its first global color image map of Mars using images obtained during the first Mars exploration mission on April 24, 2023 at the annual China Space Conference held in China. Quality-optimized basemap for scientists and exploration missions. Photo: CGV
According to CNSA on Monday, 13 payload elements aboard the Tianwen-1 mission have obtained 1,800 gigabytes of raw science data, formulation of standard data products, with which scientists and research teams have made many discoveries.
China has also engaged international partners to share the fruits of its historic Chang’e-5 mission to recover lunar samples.
According to CNSA, China provided 1.5 grams of Chang’e-5 lunar samples to France during French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to China in early April and the same amount of precious samples to Russia during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China in February. 4., 2022.
So far, scientists and researchers from Australia, Russia, France, the United States, the United Kingdom and Sweden have been involved in the study of lunar samples recovered by the Chinese mission, according to CNSA.
International Engagement [of these samples] And working as a team to study these samples is a big event in the global science circuit, and it’s also a crucial way for us to understand the formation and evolution of the moon. China has conducted aerospace exchanges and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the principle of peaceful use, equality and mutual benefit, and jointly pushed for building a shared future for mankind in space, CNSA said in a statement provided to China Direct on Monday.
With the completion of in-orbit assembly and construction of China’s space station in 2022, Zhou Jianping, chief engineer of China’s manned space program, received the highest award from Qian Xuesen during Monday’s event. Qian (1911-2009) was a Chinese aeronautical engineer and cybernetics who made important contributions to the field of aerodynamics and engineering cybernetics.
Former US astronaut Donald Thomas told China Direct in an exclusive interview Monday on the sidelines of the China Space Conference that he has been closely following China’s space program for 10 years, starting with Chang’e-2 and the Yutu Rover. . What really caught his eye was two years ago when Chang’e-5 brought lunar soil back to Earth.
“It was quite an achievement to land on the moon, drill to collect samples, lift the moon and bring the samples back to Earth. China made it look easy, but we all know it’s very hard.” Thomas said. “So I was impressed that they got it right the first time with no problems along the way.”
The development of the manned space program was so fast that Thomas was really impressed by the speed of construction of the Tiangong space station. ” they [Chinese taikonauts] He has already lived there for six months in a row. It took the United States many years to get there. So I was just impressed by the fast pace of your space program,” he said.
Thomas also said that China and the United States are not competitors in space, noting that there is no space race between the United States and China. “We all learn about Mars and the Moon, about the universe and our solar system. And I think this is common knowledge for every person on Earth. So I don’t think I would use the word ‘competition’ to describe the relationship. »
Thomas hopes that China, the United States and all countries will cooperate in space exploration. Thomas said we have learned over the past 50 years, from the example of the Soviet Union and the United States, that cooperation in space is a much better path than competition. He believes that the friendship between astronauts from different countries can be a great model for people on Earth to learn from.
China celebrates the 8th National Space Day on Monday, with a grand opening ceremony held in Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui Province, April 24, 2023. Photo: CGV
Good news for developing countries
Mazlan Osman, former director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, who attended Monday’s event, told China Direct that China has been very clear and reaching out for cooperation with developing countries, particularly regarding the space station.
“When I was at the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs, we had a program called the Human Space Technology Initiative. As part of that program, China led the way in discussing how we could bring expertise from developing countries to the Chinese space station, as well as perhaps an internationally selected astronaut to bring This particular person, not from the European Space Agency or NASA or Roscosmos, but from developing countries to get to the Chinese space station.
The reason China is above everyone else is because other countries are self-centered. But China is focused on developing countries. This is why Osman has a very special place in the Chinese space program.
When asked to comment on whether ESA astronauts will participate in missions to the Chinese space station, Karl Bergquist, director of external relations at the European Space Agency, told China Direct that the question had not been discussed yet. He said, but who knows what will happen in the future if there are discussions about such things.
We have many cooperations between Europe and China on the scientific use of the Chinese space station. “This is also an important thing to highlight,” said the ESA official.
The European Space Agency has very good cooperation with China, in particular by building a satellite with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to study the magnetosphere, and it also provides instruments and materials for the Einstein probe on a Chinese mission.
“We have a lot of work with the United States, but we think we can cooperate with both China and the United States,” Bergquist said.
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