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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.”

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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.

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3 scientists awarded 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics for work in quantum mechanics





The 2022 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded jointly to Alain Aspect, John F. Clauser and Anton Zeilinger, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced on Tuesday.

The prize was awarded to the three scientists “for experiments with entangled photons, establishing the violation of Bell inequalities and pioneering quantum information science,” the Nobel Committee said in a statement.

Aspect, born in 1947 in France’s Agen, is a professor at Paris-Saclay University. Clauser, 80, is a research physicist at J.F. Clauser and Associates in the United States. Zeilinger, 77, serves as a professor at the University of Vienna.

The laureates’ development of experimental tools has “laid the foundation for a new era of quantum technology,” the committee said, adding that the ability to “manipulate and manage quantum states and all their layers of properties gives us access to tools with unexpected potential.”

“The 2022 #NobelPrize laureates in physics have conducted groundbreaking experiments using entangled quantum states, where two particles behave like a single unit even when they are separated,” the committee tweeted.

“The results have cleared the way for new technology based upon quantum information.”

The three will share a prize of 10 million Swedish kronor ($901,500), which they will receive from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.


Source: CGTN

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China starts selecting 4th batch of astronauts





China started the selection process of the fourth batch of astronauts to join later manned space missions, according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA).

Between 12 and 14 candidates will be chosen, including seven or eight pilots. Engineers will also be selected as well as two payload experts.

The pilots will be selected among active pilots of China’s armed forces. The engineers will be picked from researchers and technicians in aerospace or related industries. And the payload experts will be drafted among those also researching space science.

The posts of payload experts are also open to applicants from Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions for the first time.

The CMSA will carry out the selection procedure which is expected to last about 18 months.

Currently the Astronaut Center of China is training the third batch of 18 astronauts before they are certified for space missions.

China has 21 astronauts in total from the first and the second generations. 14 of them have taken part in nine missions, including the latest Shenzhou-14 mission.

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Diligent female chemist steeps in scientific innovation





Yu Jihong, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, showed a thin “card” with high flexibility. It may be hard to imagine that it is a new type of lithium(Li)-air battery.

Yu, 55, a professor of chemistry at Jilin University in Changchun, northeast China’s Jilin Province, developed this flexible zeolite electrolyte solid-state Li-air battery, only 0.33 mm in thickness, together with her team members in 2021.

Their work has shown huge application potentials in flexible electronics and automobile power systems.

The Li-air battery is one of the breakthroughs made by Yu’s team, amid their continuous efforts to develop zeolite-based materials for more than three decades.

Zeolites are materials for molecular sieving, widely used in industrial catalysis and ion-exchange, according to Yu, a delegate to the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

Traditional studies of zeolites hit a bottleneck in the 1990s, but Yu persevered and dedicated herself to the rational synthesis of zeolites, a challenging research direction, despite others’ discouragement.

The efforts have borne fruit. Yu’s team pioneered the pathway toward rational design and zeolites synthesis. One of their major discoveries helps boost the efficiency and green development of zeolites synthesis.

These successes come with Yu’s diligence. Rushing back and forth, Yu is busy giving lessons, revising papers, and participating in academic conferences.

Yu sets an example of innovation and scientific research for her students. Her untiring efforts dedicated to teaching have nurtured more than 70 Ph.D. students.

Having won various of domestic and international awards, Yu still describes herself as “an ordinary teacher, an ordinary scientific worker, and a Party member.”

Yu said that she will continue to devote herself to scientific and technological innovation, making new contributions for the country.


Source: Xinhua

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