Connect with us


China approves Phase-4 moon mission with int’l lunar research station




Phase four of China’s lunar exploration program has obtained state approval and is proceeding smoothly, the China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced on Saturday, following the country’s announcement of the discovery of new mineral Changesite-(Y) on September 9.

The Phase-4 lunar mission, consisting of the Chang’e-6, -7, and -8, is to be carried out successively in 10 years with the aims of exploring the moon’s South Pole region and building a basic structure for the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), said Liu Jizhong, director of Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center under the CNSA.

The Chang’e-6 will be sent to retrieve samples from the far side of the moon and return them to Earth.

“The production of the Chang’e-6 probe has almost been completed. To better understand the moon, given that the Chang’e-4 went to the far side of the moon for the first time, we, after discussions with engineers and scientists, decided to have the Chang’e-6 probe to retrieve samples from the far side of the moon and return them to Earth. So the samples will be much more valuable,” Liu told China Media Group (CMG).

The fourth phase of China’s lunar exploration program has obtained state approval and is proceeding smoothly, the China National Space Administration announced on September 10, 2022. /CMG

According to the CNSA, the exploration of the South Pole will be completed by Chang’e-6 and -7, while Chang’e-8 will feature key technologies for lunar surface tests and preliminary exploration for the construction of the ILRS.

Liu said the Chang’e-7 probe is under development.

“The purpose of our missions is to lay the foundation for building a lunar station, so there are a lot of technologies to be tackled and we need to explore the energy on the moon. Great challenges lay ahead of us. However, with our previous experiences and an excellent team, I believe we will succeed.”

Read More:

Director of China’s Lunar Exploration Program: Lunar sample findings have great significance

(L-R) Images of the Chang’e-1, Chang’e-2, Chang’e-3 and Chang’e-4 probes. /CGTN

China’s lunar probe missions

China launched four lunar missions between 2007 and 2019 under the country’s lunar exploration program, known as the Chang’e Project after the Chinese moon goddess.

China’s first lunar probe, the Chang’e-1, was launched in October 2007. It was a lunar-orbiting spacecraft that worked 200 kilometers above the moon. Gathering a huge amount of data, it marked the first step of China’s ambitious three-step moon mission.

The Chang’e-2 probe, which was launched in 2010, traveled more than 100 million kilometers from Earth, setting a record for the longest flight by a Chinese spacecraft.

In 2013, the Chang’e-3 became China’s first spacecraft to soft-land on the moon and the Yutu rover drove on the moon.

In 2018, the Chang’e-4 landed on the far side of the moon, the first spacecraft to do so.

The Chang’e-5 probe landed on Earth with 1,731 grams of samples from the moon in 2020, marking the completion of China’s first attempt to retrieve and return samples from the moon.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


U.S. FDA rejects Elon Musk’s Neuralink to test brain chips in humans





Elon Musk once said his brain implant company, Neuralink, will make the paralyzed walk, the blind see and eventually turn people into cyborgs, however, the firm is still struggling to get clinical-trial approval to achieve such a goal.

On at least four occasions since 2019, Musk has predicted that his medical device company, Neuralink, would soon start human trials of a revolutionary brain implant to treat intractable conditions such as paralysis and blindness.

Yet the company, founded in 2016, didn’t seek permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until early 2022, and the agency rejected the application, Reuters reported citing seven current and former employees.

In explaining the decision to Neuralink, the agency outlined dozens of issues the company must address before human testing, a critical milestone on the path to final product approval, the staffers said.


Screenshot of a YouTube video posted by Neuralink in 2022 touting what Neuralink calls humane animal care.

Safety risks

The agency’s major safety concerns involved the device’s lithium battery; the potential for the implant’s tiny wires to migrate to other areas of the brain; and questions over whether, and how the device can be removed without damaging brain tissue, the employees said.

A year after the rejection, Neuralink is still working through the agency’s concerns. Three staffers said they were skeptical the company could quickly resolve the issues, despite Musk’s latest prediction at a November 30 presentation that the company would secure FDA human-trial approval this spring.

Such FDA rejections do not mean a company will ultimately fail to gain the agency’s human-testing approval. But the agency’s pushback signals substantial concerns, according to more than a dozen experts, in FDA device-approval processes.

Source(s): Xinhua

Continue Reading


Report: How the U.S. seeks to maintain its technological hegemony





The U.S., the world’s leading technology superpower, has been wielding monopoly power and taking suppression measures in high-tech fields to maintain its technological hegemony, said a report released on Monday.

Most recently, the U.S. has been lobbying its allies, including the Netherlands and Japan, to further restrict export of microchips and related equipment and technology to China.

ASML, the world’s top supplier of chip-making machines based in the Netherlands, has already been banned from selling its most advanced chip-making equipment to China since 2019, because of curbs imposed by the Dutch government under pressure from the U.S.

The company warned last week that “the drive for technological sovereignty” could lead to “long-term changes in global trade, competition and technology supply chains,” which could adversely affect its business and growth prospects.

This is only the latest move by the U.S. to further strangle China’s chip industry.

Last year, the Biden Administration proposed the so-called “Chip 4 Alliance,” which includes four of the world’s top producers of semiconductors: the U.S., Japan, Korea and China’s Taiwan region. It is widely seen as Washington’s effort to contain Beijing in the cutting-edge sector.

How the U.S. suppressed Japan’s chip industry 

Actually, China has not the only country targeted by the U.S. in the semiconductor sector.

In the 1980s, Japan, one of the U.S.’s closest allies, once produced about half of the world’s semiconductors. In the year 1990, six of the world’s top ten semiconductor manufacturers were Japanese companies.

In order to contain Japan’s semiconductor industry, the U.S. launched the “301” investigation, threatened to label Japan as conducting unfair trade, and imposed retaliatory tariffs, forcing Japan to sign the U.S.-Japan Semiconductor Agreement.

As a result, Japanese semiconductor enterprises were almost completely driven out of global competition, and their market share dropped from 50 percent to 10 percent.

In the same time, with the support of the U.S. government, a large number of U.S. semiconductor enterprises took the opportunity and grabbed larger market share.

U.S. put over 1,000 Chinese firms on sanction list

Now, facing competition from Chinese tech companies, the U.S. has been overstretching the concept of national security and mobilizing state power to suppress and sanction Chinese companies, like telecom giant Huawei – a leading company in 5G technologies.

Over the past years, the U.S. has restricted the entry of Huawei products into the American market, cut off its supply of chips and operating systems, and also coerced other countries to ban Huawei from undertaking local 5G network construction.

It even talked Canada into unwarrantedly detaining Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou for nearly three years.

As a matter of fact, the U.S. has fabricated a slew of excuses to clamp down on China’s high-tech enterprises with global competitiveness, and has put more than 1,000 Chinese enterprises on its sanction lists.

U.S. eavesdropping

The U.S. has also been abusing its technological hegemony and carrying out widespread cyber-attacks and eavesdropping, the report pointed out.

The world’s No.1 superpower, with the most advanced technologies, has long been notorious as an “empire of hackers,” blamed for its rampant acts of cyber theft around the world.

And U.S. surveillance is indiscriminate. All can be targets of its surveillance, be they rivals or allies, even leaders of allied countries such as former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several French Presidents.

Cyber surveillance and attacks launched by the U.S. such as “Prism,” “Dirtbox,” “Irritant Horn” and “Telescreen Operation” are all proof that the U.S. is closely monitoring its allies and partners.

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, a website that has exposed U.S. surveillance programs, said that “do not expect a global surveillance superpower to act with honor or respect. There is only one rule: there are no rules.”

Source(s): CGTN

Continue Reading


Chinese researchers develop amphibious ‘flying fish’ drone





Researchers have developed a prototype of a quadrotor that can both fly in the air and swim underwater, making it suitable for a wide range of applications.

Dubbed TJ-FlyingFish, the aerial-aquatic quadrotor weighs 1.63 kg with a wheelbase of 380 mm.

It adopts special designs in the propulsion and thruster configuration to cope with different fluid properties of water and air, making it capable of hovering in the air for six minutes or swimming underwater for about 40 minutes.

“For propulsion, the operating range is switched for the different mediums by the dual-speed propulsion unit, providing sufficient thrust and also ensuring output efficiency. For thruster configuration, thrust vectoring is realized by the rotation of the propulsion unit around the mount arm, thus enhancing the underwater maneuverability,” said the researchers.

TJ-FlyingFish during tests. /Tongji University

The quadrotor is equipped with a cross-domain positioning and navigation system consisting of GPS, inertial measurement unit, depthmeter and mini Doppler velocity log, which enables autonomous control during its amphibious journey.

TJ-FlyingFish was jointly developed by a team of scientists from the Shanghai Research Institute for Intelligent Autonomous Systems under the Tongji University and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Possible applications include resource exploration, search and rescue missions, and engineering inspections.

Source(s): Xinhua, CGTN

Continue Reading