22 July 2018
When Chang Jin graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China and started work at the space astronomy lab in the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, in 1992, he was surprised to find that Chinese space astronomy was a blank sheet. "I felt like I was working in a car factory where no car had been produced," Chang, now Chief Scientist of China's Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE), recalled.
Chang Jin grew up in a poor village in Taixing County, east China's Jiangsu Province. Any resource, be it food or money, was precious. "In my father's last days, he worried that if our satellite failed, the money wasted would be equivalent to the total income of tens of thousands of families in our hometown," said Chang. "That's why I work with extreme caution. We must succeed. We cannot waste the state's research money."