China Space Stations First International Cooperation Projects Opened to the World

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 China Space Stations First International Cooperation Projects Opened to the World


[Global Times-Global Network Report] On June 12, during the 62nd session of the United Nations Space Commission, held in Vienna, Austria, by the Office of Manned Space Engineering of China and the United Nations Department for Outer Space, a conference was held to announce the results of the first batch of UN/China space science experiments around the Chinese Space Station. Nine of them were from 17 countries and 23 entities. The project was selected successfully.

On May 28, 2018, the Office of Manned Space Engineering of China and the United Nations Department for Outer Space jointly issued a bulletin on opportunities for cooperation with foreign countries, inviting all Member States of the United Nations to participate in future international cooperation in space science applications of the Chinese Space Station. The selection of cooperative projects is carried out jointly by the China Manned Space Engineering Office and the United Nations Department for Outer Space.

At the beginning of 2019, 18 projects entered the stage of selection after deliberation by the Evaluation and Selection Committee of the Space Station Application Project in Cooperation between the China Manned Space Engineering Office and the United Nations Department for Outer Space. From 10 to 11 June, the project evaluation and selection committee held its second meeting in Vienna. The final selection results were confirmed and released on 12 June.

According to Lin Xiqiang, there are three main modes of cooperation with the National Surgical team. One is the practical (trial) testing device developed independently or jointly by the foreign side, which is installed in the reserved space of the international cooperative cabinet to carry out practical (trial) testing and application. The test device is assembled on orbit with the cargo spacecraft during the operation phase of the space station.

Second, the foreign side independently or in cooperation with the Chinese side to put forward the experimental scheme (including experimental samples, experimental units or experimental design), using our planned research and development of the relevant areas of application cabinet in-situ (test) device to carry out experiments and applications. During the construction phase of the space station, foreign experimental units and samples are launched with the cabin or on board the cargo ship.

Third, the foreign side independently or in cooperation with the Chinese side to develop extravehicular load, installed on the reserved extravehicular load adapter, and carry out corresponding test (actual) test and application. The in-cabin support equipment for international cooperation extravehicular load shall be arranged in the space reserved for international cooperation cabinet in the experimental cabin I and II. Extravehicular loads are installed on orbit with the cargo spacecraft during the operation phase of the space station.

Lin Xiqiang said that in future space station missions, Chinas manned spaceflight will take a more open attitude, actively carry out international exchanges and cooperation in equipment development, space applications, astronaut training, joint flight and space medicine, and share the achievements of Chinas manned spaceflight development with other countries in the world, especially developing countries.

Regarding whether there will be astronauts from other countries entering Chinas space station and carrying out space experiments in the future, Lin Xiqiang told the Global Times that this time is mainly to provide scientists around the world with the Chinese space station to carry out space experiments. As for the future development, it is necessary to systematically study and arrange according to the specific conditions of the construction of the Chinese space station.

Development and construction of Chinas space station proceeded in an orderly manner

Lin Xiqiang said that the development and construction of Chinas space station is being carried out in an orderly manner, and plans to be completed and put into operation around 2022. The China Space Station belongs not only to China, but also to the whole world. The completion of the China Space Station will contribute more to the economic and social development of mankind and provide better China Program.

Lv Congmin, Deputy designer of space application system, introduced that the related scientific research facilities of Chinas space station are being developed rapidly and are progressing smoothly. The Chinese Space Station has planned and deployed 16 scientific laboratory cabinets in the sealed cabin, an extravehicular exposure test platform and an optical cabin for common-orbit flight. It supports hundreds of scientific research and application projects in 11 disciplines, including space astronomy, space life sciences and biotechnology, basic physics of microgravity, space materials science and space medicine. Sixteen scientific laboratory cabinets will be installed in core cabin, laboratory cabin I and laboratory cabin II respectively. At present, the core cabinet science experiment cabinet is about to complete the preliminary stage of development, the experimental cabinet I science experiment cabinet is carrying out the preliminary prototype development work, and the experimental cabinet II science experiment cabinet has completed all the key technology research.

According to the introduction, after the selection of this project, China will make overall planning according to the development and implementation progress of various projects of the China Space Station. Lv Congmin said, We will provide real (trial) launch and space station operation opportunities for selected projects, as well as supportive services such as TT&C, recovery and so on. The experimental cabinet space on the core cabin, the experimental cabin I and the experimental cabin II of the space station will be utilized, and the applied cabinet and cabinet experimental devices in the fields of space medicine, space life science, fluid physics and combustion science, which have been planned and developed in each section of the space station, as well as a number of space station extravehicular load adapters, and the corresponding platforms and application resources will be used for cooperation. It will also carry out the work of interface and resource coordination, technical support and related conditions guarantee in the development and operation phase of the actual (trial) test.

China is ready to cooperate with all countries, including the United States, in space activities.

Ambassador Wang Qun of the Permanent Mission of China to Vienna said at a conference held in Vienna on December 12 that Chinas space station cooperation fully embodies openness and inclusiveness. Peaceful exploration and utilization of outer space is the common cause of all mankind. Last May, China and the United Nations Department for Outer Space issued a bulletin on opportunities for international cooperation on the Chinese Space Station, which opened the door to the world and allowed equal participation by all countries, organizations, private entities and academic institutions. After one years joint evaluation, some of the selected projects come from the government, some from academic or private entities, some from developed countries and some from developing countries. This again shows that Chinas space station cooperation is open and inclusive, does not mix its own personal interests, and does not engage in closed and exclusive circles. The cooperation process pays full attention to the needs of developing countries, encourages developing countries and developed countries to jointly submit project applications, and considers to bear part of the cost for the government and non-profit organizations, with a view to helping developing countries bridge the technological gap and achieve access to and exploration of outer space.

Lin Xiqiang reiterated Chinas willingness to cooperate and exchange in the field of manned space with all countries and regions in the world aiming at the peaceful use of outer space. Unfortunately, the relevant bills issued by the U.S. Congress prohibit the U.S. side from cooperating with me in the field of space, which seriously hinders the normal development of space exchange and cooperation between China and the United States. As long as the U.S. side cancels the non-constructive legislation, there will be broad prospects for cooperation between China and the United States in the field of manned space flight.

On June 7, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced a new plan to expand the commercial value of the International Space Station. Individuals are welcome to travel to the International Space Station for up to 30 days. The first departure date is 2020, with two flights per year. At the same time, NASA also allows companies and agencies to bid for the use of the National Space Station.