14 June 2017
A 3-kilogram mini-ecosystem, developed by research teams led by Chongqing University, will be transported to the lunar surface by the Chang'e 4 scheduled to launch in 2018, authorities announced at this year's Global Space Exploration Conference. In this first of its kind experiment for China, the 18-centimeter-tall cylinder will carry potato seeds and silkworm eggs to be incubated.
The theory is that silkworms will hatch and create carbon dioxide, while the potato plants will generate oxygen, explained Zhang Yuanxun, designer of the ecosystem model.
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12 June 2017
Seeds from an over 5,000-year-old cypress in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province have sprouted after being taken into space by Chinese astronauts in 2016, a research group have said. “Twenty-eight seeds had sprouted by the end of May,’’ Zhao Xia, from the rare tree germ plasm resources group, said 12 June. “Some 150 seeds, collected in August 2016, were taken into space on the Shenzhou 11 mission and kept at the Tiangong 2 lab from 15 September to 18 November 2016. “The sprouting project began on 15 May, and another 150 seeds that had not gone into space were germinated at the same time in a comparative study,’’ Zhao said.
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12 June 2017
The Precise Service System of the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) has been used in the construction of 317 smart cities across China, according to the Smart BDS Precise Application Summit, which opened on 12 June. The technology is also expected to provide precise positioning and navigation services to all countries along the Belt and Road by 2018.
With the development of the Internet of Things, big data and artificial intelligence, there will be an increasing need for precise positioning in industries like unmanned vehicles, drones and robots, said Ran Chengqi, an official at Beidou Navigation Satellite System, adding that the value of BDS industrial chain could reach up to 240 billion yuan by 2020.
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09 June 2017
Global leaders in space exploration discussed during the Global Space Exploration Conference (GLEX 2017) their ideas on deep-space exploration. According to Wu Yansheng, general manager of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), China is working on an idea for manned lunar landing. The mission will consist of a manned spaceship, a propulsion vehicle and a lunar lander. The manned spaceship and the lunar lander will be sent into circumlunar orbit separately. Yang Liwei, deputy director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office, said that China is in the preliminary stage of its manned lunar program and estimated that Chinese astronauts will be able to walk on the moon around 2030.
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13 June 2017
Unmanned tractors sow seeds pretty fast on an expansive cotton farm belonging to the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, in Northwest China, where drones fly at a constant height of 1.8 meters above wheat plants and spray fertilizer on the growing crops. These marvels mark China's latest development in precision agriculture, which relies on autonomous vehicle technology supported by the country's home-grown BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS). Accurate positioning based on BDS is essential for precision agriculture, said Zhang Ruifeng, head of the publicity department at the UniStrong Science and Technology Co, which is based in Beijing and offers satellite navigation and positioning services. The firm successfully developed the "Huinong," or "Smart Agriculture" precision system, China's first self-developed autonomous farming machinery, in 2016, with a maximum error margin of 2.5 centimeters in straight line operations.
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09 June 2017
State-owned high-technology company China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp (CASIC) is pinning its hopes on private entrepreneurship and innovation to speed up the commercialisation of the country's space technologies. The company supports more than 6,000 private innovative, entrepreneurial programs that have attracted more than 1.7 billion yuan ($ 250 million) in total funds. It has also set up eight innovation incubators across the country, covering a total of 483,000 square meters. Last year, the output of businesses in those incubators surpassed 40 billion yuan.
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