Pre-launch joint tests completed for Shenzhou-15 crewed mission

The China Manned Space Agency said on Sunday that the pre-launch joint tests for the Shenzhou-15 crewed mission had been completed by all units.Photo: Courtesy of China Manned Space AgencyThe Shenzhou-15 is due to launch three Chinese astronauts, or taikonauts, to the China Space Station for a half-year trip. They will briefly stay in the space station with the three-person Shenzhou-14 crew, who are preparing to head back to Earth.Chinas manned space program will run two Shenzhou spacecraft concurrently for the first time, creating new challenges.

China completes first in-orbit space fuel cell tests

BEIJING, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- The space fuel cell payload onboard the Tianzhou-5 cargo spacecraft has completed its in-orbit tests, marking the first time China has conducted such tests, according to the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST). The tests preliminarily validated the characteristics

NASA's Orion capsule enters far-flung orbit around moon

Photo: NASACAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s Orion capsule entered an orbit stretching tens of thousands of miles around the moon Friday, as it neared the halfway mark of its test flight.The capsule and its three test dummies entered lunar orbit more than a week after launching on the $4 billion demo that’s meant to pave the way for astronauts. It will remain in this broad but stable orbit for nearly a week, completing just half a lap before heading home.As of Friday’s engine firing, the capsule was 238,000 miles (380,000 kilometers) from Earth. It’s expected to reach a maximum distance of almost 270,000 miles (432,000 kilometers) in a few days. That will set a new distance record for a capsule designed to carry people one day.“It is a statistic, but it’s symbolic for what it represents,” Jim Geffre, an Orion manager, said in a NASA interview earlier in the week. “It’s about challenging ourselves to go farther, stay longer and push beyond the limits of what we’ve previously explored.”NASA considers this a dress rehearsal for the next moon flyby in 2024, with astronauts. A lunar landing by astronauts could follow as soon as 2025. Astronauts last visited the moon 50 years ago during Apollo 17.

Chinese ROV completes 4,308-meter sea trial with 'Exploration 2'

A remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV), carried by the Chinese scientific research vessel Exploration-2, has been tested with a maximum working depth of 4,308 meters in the South China Sea, the Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering (IDSSE) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences said on Thursday.The remotely operated underwater vehicle, together with the Chinese scientific research vessel Exploration-2, completed a 4,308-meters sea trial in the South China Sea from November 7 to 19, 2022. (Photo: IDSSE)The ROV worked normally and all indexes met the design goals, indicating that it has the capability to undertake deep-sea scientific research and engineering operations, said the IDSSE.With the Exploration-2 as its mother ship, the self-developed ROV can provide a variety of general interfaces such as electric, communication and control interfaces, so to carry various operation tools and modules for scientific research.A sea trial of a deep-sea in situ biological gene sequencer has also been carried out. The device, equipped with a repeater, was taken to a depth of 1,800 meters for biological samples sequencing and analysis.It laid a foundation for joint biological detection and analysis with other instruments in a deep-sea in situ environment, said the IDSSE.

Test carried out on space-based fuel cell

This simulated image captured at Beijing Aerospace Control Center on Nov 12, 2022 shows Chinas cargo spacecraft Tianzhou 5 having conducted a fast automated rendezvous and docking with the combination of the space station Tiangong. (Photo: Xinhua)China has carried out an in-orbit test of its domestically developed space-based fuel cell, according to the China Academy of Space Technology.The academy said the cell worked well in a space environment characterized by a vacuum, extreme low temperature and microgravity during the test that took place recently outside the Tianzhou 5 cargo spaceship, which carried the device into space.The spacecraft fuel cell is essential to the countrys future manned exploration on the moon as it can provide stable power supply to landers and rovers, designers explained.

New insect species found in Mt. Wuyi National Park in E China

The new species named "Ectinoderus Sinicus" belongs to the tribe Ectinoderini. /CMG A new insect species has been found during a three-year background survey of biological resources in Mt. Wuyi National Park, which straddles the provinces of Jiangxi and Fujian in eastern, sout

China completes 1st in-orbit test for space fuel cells on China's space station

China has successfully completed its first in-orbit test for space fuel cells on Chinas space station, according to China Academy of Space Technology.(File photo: Xinhua) All designated tasks have been successfully carried out, including the preliminarily validation for the cells system to operate in a vacuum, in low temperature and microgravity.The academy said this experiment has provided crucial data for future space fuel cell development.The fuel cell payload was on board the Tianzhou-5 cargo ship, the last resupply mission for Chinas space station before it completes assembly.

Human daily water requirements likely less than once believed: study

BEIJING, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- A famous health tip says youd better drink eight glasses of water (about two liters) a day. However, the results of a new study suggest that less is needed.(File photo: CGTN) An international group led by scientists at the Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology (SIAT) in China found that the average daily water intake of a man in his twenties should be 1.5 to 1.8 liters, while it should be 1.3 to 1.4 liters for a female in the same age group.The study published on Friday in the journal Science described, for the first time, a set of equations to predict human water turnover, an indicator reflecting the amount of water used by the body each day.The researchers investigated 5,604 participants from the ages of 8 days to 96 years and from more than 20 countries, using isotope-tracking methods.They have found that a man aged 20 to 35 consumes 4.2 liters of water each day, while a woman aged 30 to 60 consumes 3.3 liters, with the water requirements dropping as he or she ages.Since the metabolism and water exchange on skin can provide 15 percent, while food and drinking contribute half each of the remaining 85 percent, people are thus suggested to drink less than 45 percent of the total daily turnover, according to the researchers."The majority of people perhaps dont have to drink 8 glasses of water a day," said Zhang Xueying, co-first author of the paper and an assistant research fellow at the SIAT.The total water input and output varies according to multiple factors, including body size, physical activity, air temperature, humidity, and altitude, according to the study."The equations can be applied to individuals around the world," said Zhang. "Just input his or her basic physiological indicators and the temperature and humidity he or she lives in."However, people who lived in countries with a low human development index (HDI) had higher water turnover than people in high-HDI countries, she added.The...

China offers intl cooperation opportunity via Chang'e lunar missions

Photo: China DailyThe China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Thursday revealed the international payloads that will piggyback on the Change 6 lunar exploration mission, and announced another call for international payload proposals for the Change 7 mission.The CNSA has announced that it will carry scientific instruments from France, Italy and the European Space Agency/Sweden on the Change 6 missions lander, and a Pakistani payload on the orbiter.At present, these four international payloads are technically feasible to carry, and all of them are on schedule for development work, it added.Since it announced the cooperation opportunity in April 2019, offering to carry 10 kg of payloads on both the lander and the orbiter of the Change 6 mission, it has received more than 20 piggyback proposals, according to the CNSA.The Change 6 mission, scheduled for launch between 2024 and 2025, will involve an on-site investigation, the retrieval of samples from the far side of the moon, and systematic and long-term laboratory research on samples collected.The Change 7 mission, expected to be launched around 2026, aims to explore the environment and resources at the south pole of the moon and lay a foundation for the construction of an international lunar research station, according to the CNSA.Change 7, which includes a lunar orbiter, a lander, a rover, a flying vehicle and multiple scientific instruments, aims to land at the South Pole-Aitken Basin, the CNSA said.China has invited scientists around the world to participate in the mission, offering to carry 10 kg of payloads on the lander, and 15 kg of payloads on the orbiter, the CNSA said.The deadline for submissions of letters of intent is Feb. 1, 2023. The preliminary selection is expected to be completed in early April and the international payloads the Change 7 will carry are expected to be confirmed in early July, it said.The CNSA unveiled the latest lunar exploration missio...

Magnificent ice floes appear on Ussuri River in NE China

Recently, as the temperature decreased, the Ussuri River in Raohe County of Shuangyashan City in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province began to freeze, and magnificent scenery with ice floes appeared in the twilight of dawn. The Ussuri River is a main branch of the Amur River that is on China's bo

Sinopharm developing three potential monkeypox vaccines

File photo: CGTNChinese drugmaker Sinopharm said on Wednesday that it is developing three potential mRNA vaccines to fight monkeypox.It said in a statement that the experimental vaccines have been shown in an animal study to significantly evoke specific antibodies against monkeypox in mice. Compared with attenuated virus vaccines, which are currently available, the new vaccines are believed to be safer and capable of inducing neutralizing antibodies that can prevent infection more quickly.The research is being led by Yang Xiaoming, chairman of China National Biotech Group, a unit administered by Sinopharm. Research results have been published on bioRxiv, a preprint platform on Tuesday."The release of these data has filled a gap in monkeypox-specific vaccines based on mRNA technology and helps prepare for the possible spread of monkeypox virus in the future," Sinopharm said.The World Health Organization declared the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency on July 23 after a large number of nonendemic countries, including the United States and some in Europe, experienced surging cases.Because monkeypox and smallpox viruses are highly similar in genome makeup and their antibodies have shown significant cross-protection, it is widely believed that smallpox vaccines can provide some immunity against monkeypox as well.Currently, there are three pox vaccines available worldwide. One of them, called Jynneos, has been used to fight the monkeypox outbreak in the United States, where drug regulators approved the vaccine in 2019.Developing new vaccines typically requires years of research and clinical trials before reaching the public. Animal studies and three phases of human trials are some of the prerequisites for gaining market approval in China.

China's high-tech hub Shenzhen holds investment promotion conference in Ireland

File photoDUBLIN, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- An investment promotion conference was held here on Wednesday with an aim to enhance economic cooperation and bilateral investment between Ireland and Shenzhen, a southern Chinese coastal city and a high-tech hub.China-Ireland economic and trade relationship has been growing steadily and two-way investment has maintained a good momentum, said Wang Jiabao, commercial counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Ireland, who expected the 2022 Shenzhen Global Investment Promotion Conference Ireland session to inject new impetus into bilateral economic ties.Noting that there were nearly 30 Irish companies in Shenzhen by the end of last year, Chinese representatives of the Shenzhen delegation said that Irelands advantages in bio-pharmacy, financial services and science and technology are highly compatible with Shenzhens industrial development strategy of vigorously developing advanced manufacturing and promoting the integration of advanced manufacturing and modern service industries.Currently, there are more than 40 Chinese companies in Ireland with over 3,000 employees, and they have contributed to Irelands economic and social development, Paraic Hayes, director of Asia Pacific at IDA Ireland, a government agency responsible for attracting foreign direct investment into the country, told Xinhua.Ireland looks forward to more investment from China, especially from Shenzhen, he said.At a panel discussion, Irish business representatives shared their experience and advice on investment in Shenzhen, and spoke highly of Shenzhens business environment, especially its innovation capacity.Wednesdays conference is part of investment promotion activities annually organized by the Shenzhen government around the globe.

Largest 16 MW offshore wind turbine rolls off production line

The worlds largest 16-megawatt offshore wind turbine rolls off the production line in Fujian Province, China, November 23, 2022. (Photo: CFP)The worlds largest 16-megawatt offshore wind turbine rolled off the production line in southeast Chinas Fujian Province on Wednesday, setting a new benchmark in the progress of global offshore wind power equipment. The offshore wind turbine, claimed to have the worlds largest impeller diameter and largest single unit capacity of 16 MW, can be widely used in sea areas where wind speeds are medium or high.With its wheel hub at a height of 146 meters and the diameter of the impeller reaching 252 meters, the impeller of the offshore wind turbine can sweep an area of about 50,000 square meters, equivalent to seven standard football fields put together. Under rated working conditions, a single unit can generate 34.2 kWh per revolution, and an average annual output of more than 66 million kWh of clean electricity, sufficient for 36,000 three-member households to consume for one year. "It has overcome a series of key technological problems such as ultra-long flexible blades, large spindle bearings, and miniaturization of ultra-large capacity generators. The application of high-power offshore wind turbine can greatly save the use of sea areas," said Lei Mingshan, chairman of the China Three Gorges Corporation. The combination of modularization and automation in the control strategy of the unit can actively adjust the operation mode for typhoons and other adverse weathers to ensure safe and efficient power generation of wind turbines, and the products are fully suitable for countries along the Belt and Road as well as European and American countries.

'Space is for everyone': World's first disabled astronaut part of Europe's grand space training program

John McFall has also run for Great Britains Paralympic team. (Photo: CGTN)The worlds first disabled astronaut could soon be off to the Moon after being unveiled by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of its new class of 2022.In a major step towards allowing people with physical disabilities to work and live in space, British Paralympic sprinter John McFall is part of a 17-person team chosen from over 22,500 applicants for the program.The 22-nation agency said it had appointed 41-year-old McFall, who has a background in sports and exercise science, for a feasibility study during astronaut training to assess the conditions needed for people with disabilities to take part in future missions.McFall said: "When it was announced they were looking for a candidate with a physical disability, I thought it was such an exhilarating possibility, such a brave and bold thing to do."So with my scientific background and vast range of experiences, I felt compelled to try and help ESA to help answer the question of if someone with a physical disability can do meaningful work in space."I think I can bring a lot to the study, including inspiration. Science is for everyone and so is space."

Chinese technicians compete in WorldSkills Competition in Austria

File photoSALZBURG, Austria, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Eight Chinese technicians are competing in the final leg of the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition, which kicked off here on Wednesday.The event in Salzburg, which will run until Nov. 28, has drawn some 100 contestants from around the world. They will compete in seven categories: electrical installations, industrial control, bricklaying, concrete construction work, heavy vehicle technology, freight forwarding and chemical laboratory technology.The Chinese competitors will participate in all seven categories.Jiang Yuhe, a Chinese contestant to compete in chemical laboratory technology, said on the sidelines of Wednesdays opening ceremony that she had been working very hard in preparation for the competition and she hoped to perform well in Salzburg.The WorldSkills Competition is a global professional skills promotion event dubbed "Olympics for technicians" worldwide. It has held special-edition contests in 15 countries between September and November, covering 62 categories of skills.China has won 15 gold medals, three silvers, three bronzes and five winning prizes in the previous legs of the WorldSkills Competition 2022 Special Edition.

Chinese tech giant Huawei joins global digital coalition


World's largest offshore wind turbine off assembly line in China

FUZHOU, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- A giant offshore wind turbine, with the worlds largest per-unit capacity, has moved off the production line in east Chinas Fujian Province.(File photo: Xinhua) The 16-megawatt wind turbine is equipped with a 146-meter hub, equal to the height of a 50-storied building, and has the worlds longest impeller diameter of 252 meters and the lightest per megawatt weight, according to China Three Gorges Corporation.The equipment, jointly developed by the corporation and Xinjiang Goldwind Sci & Tech Co., Ltd., marks a breakthrough in high-end wind turbine manufacturing.At full wind speed, the wind turbine can generate 34.2 kWh of power after rotating a full turn.Its annual power output, which is estimated to average over 66 million kWh, can meet the annual demand of 36,000 households of three, save 22,000 tonnes of standard coal, and reduce 54,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.Chinas wind turbine manufacturing has led the globe after leap-forward development, Lei Mingshan, chairman of China Three Gorges Corporation, said.

Sensor research may help robots 'feel'

A team from Xiamen University in Fujian province has made progress in the field of flexible tactile sensors, putting forward a new operating mode for the "skin" of intelligent robots with superior sensitivity.A photo shows a researcher from Xiamen University in Fujian province conducting experiment on a sample of flexible tactile sensor components. (Photo provided to Zhou Wei, the professor who heads the team, said the new flexible tactile sensors can detect ultra-sensitive dynamic forces.The soft hybrid tactile sensor technology was inspired by the structural composition of arthropods. It not only improves the force transfer efficiency of the flexible materials but also significantly improves the sensitivity of the sensor — up to 17 times the theoretical limit — Zhou said.It also boasts some other excellent performance characteristics, such as real-time force direction recognition, which may be helpful in future humanoid robots by allowing them to "feel" and respond more accurately.Over the past two years, Zhang Jinhui, a postdoctoral student in the universitys department of mechanical and electrical engineering, has done hundreds of experiments, and finally found the perfect combination of rigid and flexible structure.

China gains significant progress in space infrastructure construction

Chinas space infrastructure construction has made great progress as it has built a space-ground integrated national space infrastructure system based on satellite communications, satellite remote sensing and satellite navigation, according to a UN/China space exploration seminar held in Haikou City, south Chinas Hainan Province on Monday. (File photo: VCG) The seminar on United Nations/China 2nd Global Partnership Workshop on Space Exploration and Innovation has revealed that China has now more than 300 space infrastructure satellites operating stably in orbit, ranking second in the world. "In the field of remote sensing satellites, the number of our satellites in orbit has also reached more than 200, which is also among the highest in the world," said Zhao Jian, director of the Earth Observation System and Data Center of the China National Space Administration (CNSA). "The medium-resolution satellites can generate daily global-coverage satellite data at a resolution of 16 meters, and the satellites with a resolution of one meter can image any part of the world every five hours. In the field of remote sensing satellites, hundreds of millions of image data have been distributed, and the data can be autonomously controlled," Zhao said.In order to further promote the co-construction and sharing of Chinas remote sensing satellite data resources, the CNSA officially released the National Remote Sensing Data and Application Service Platform. According to the seminar, the platform aggregated the data resources of more than 30 satellites, including high-resolution satellites, civil aerospace scientific research satellites, international cooperation satellites, meteorological satellites, and ocean satellites.

Chinese-developed silicon solar cell breaks efficiency world record

Silicon cells are seen in Rikaze in southwest Chinas Tibet Autonomous Region. (Photo: VCG)Chinese-developed silicon cell has set a new world record for efficiency for the first time in the history of photovoltaics.It is said to be the latest world record, having been established five years after a Japanese company set the benchmark for single crystal silicon cell efficiency at 26.7% in 2017.With an efficiency of 26.81 percent, the silicon cells developed by Chinese photovoltaics firm LONGi are currently the most efficient of their kind.The improvement in efficiency means that a certain area of battery absorbing the same amount of light can emit more electricity than before.This milestone not only demonstrates Chinas development strength in silicon solar cell manufacturing but also strongly boosts the countrys confidence and determination to move to the world forefront in more scientific and technological fields, said Zhang Yuzhuo, vice-chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology."Solar cell efficiency is the beacon of photovoltaic technology innovation," Li Zhenguo, founder and president of LONGi, said, adding that crystalline silicon solar cells account for nearly 95 percent of the current photovoltaic market.It is estimated that based on 20 percent conversion efficiency, every 1-percent increase can save more than 5 percent of the costs for downstream power stations, he said.

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