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Space Log: First time China’s Shenzhou-14 crew celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival in space

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Chinese astronauts, or taikonauts, got the chance to celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival for the first time ever in the space, in the cozy assembly of the space station which will be fully constructed at the end of this year.

On this festive occasion, Chinese people enjoy traditional mooncakes and admire the moon, which is said to be the fullest and brightest of the year.

As for the Shenzhou-14 crew, who are in fact closest to the moon in distance, they became the first Chinese who spent the festival in the orbit – making the day quite special. In the previous space missions, Shenzhou-12 crew almost had the chance but they completed their mission and returned to Earth on September 17, 2021, four days earlier than the festival.

Cai Xuzhe displays a lettuce they have grown in a video call, September 10, 2022. /China Media Group

The taikonauts didn’t take the day off for the festival as they have had to train for the next space walk. During a break, Shenzhou-14 commander Chen Dong had taken a picture of the moon on this festive day. “We can take pictures of the moon even in the daytime when we are in the orbit. It looks much brighter and clear from the view at the space station without the cloud and the atmosphere.”

To make the day more special, the ground team has arranged a space-Earth reunion event for the taikonauts and their families, as well as the ground team. They celebrated the festival together with video calls.

The Shenzhou-14 crew celebrate the festival with some juice, September 10, 2022. /China Media Group

The crew in the space also quite enjoyed the festival parcel, which had a heart pattern. It was pre-packed with mooncakes by the ground team.

“Thanks for the ground team for making our festival in space full of love and surprise,” said Liu Yang, one of the Shenzhou-14 crew, “and we wish everyone a happy festival!”

Besides some surprise parcels, the taikonauts also had the privilege of tasting some of lettuce they grew while in space.

“We are about to eat this space-grown lettuce in a minute,” said Cai Xuzhe, also a Shenzhou-14 teammate, holding the lettuce to show to the ground team via the video.

“Now we’re halfway through the mission, we will work hard to complete the following tasks in a way as perfect as the full moon,” said Chen Dong.

L-R: Shenzhou-14 crew Liu Yang, Chen Dong and Cai Xuzhe send their wishes from China’s space station, September 10, 2022. /China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation

The Shenzhou-14 crew also sent their festival wishes to the earthlings via a video released by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

Liu said in the video: “How many of us have ever dreamed of flying to the moon like Chang’e? Today, from outer space on a full moon night, we are sending our sincerest wishes and greetings to everyone on Earth.”

“Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!” added Cai, “We also hope our Mother Earth becomes better and better!”

The commander of Shenzhou-14 Chen Dong summed up with a verse from a well-known poem with a theme linking the moon with a person’s beloved: “Let’s wish our beloved will live as long as they can; though miles apart, we can still share the beauty of the same moon.”

Source: CGTN

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

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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

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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

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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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