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Successful Flight of Chinese Sub-orbital Space Rocket

Aug. 28, 2022 (EIRNS)–China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC) announced on August 26 that China’s reusable sub-orbital space carrier made its first successful repeated-use experiment flight on Friday.

The suborbital vehicle launched vertically from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi Desert on Friday, Aug. 26 Beijing time (Aug. 25 Eastern), according to CASC, China’s main space contractor. It landed stably at an airport in Alxa Right Banner in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region after finishing a flight in the sub-orbit as planned, according to the announcement. The short statement provided neither images of the craft nor information such as time, duration or apogee of the launch.

CASC’s statement declared the complete success of the flight test, and represents a leap in the development of China’s space transportation technology from single-use to reusable.

Song Zhongping, a space analyst and TV commentator, told the Global Times that sub-orbital carriers, which are used for sending payloads to about 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, could serve a variety of purposes such as ferrying satellites. The lifting-body and sub-orbital characteristics mean that the carrier has aerodynamic design and can conduct operations in sub-orbit. Such craft have more lifting power, Song explained.

Technologies required for reusable sub-orbital flights are very demanding, as the craft had experienced both the environment in space and that under the Earth’s atmospheric influence, experts said.

The latest successful repeated-use flight means that both materials and engine system of China’s domestic reusable sub-orbital vehicle can be reused, which is a great technical breakthrough and remarks a technical milestone, Song said. In a statement the CASC provided to the Global Times, the CASC said that it was working on a series of reusable space launch and transport systems, which will greatly boost the country’s space shuttle capability, lowering costs and empowering future development in this domain.


Chinese and Swiss Astronauts Cooperate in Reaching Out to Youth

July 2, 2022 (EIRNS)–On July 1, approximately 100 graduate students from China and Switzerland took part in a cross-cultural event for the purpose of engaging more institutions in inspiring young students to explore the unknown. The two astronauts who were chosen to interact with the students were well-suited for the assignment.

Jing Haipeng, head of the Chinese astronaut corps, was the first Chinese astronaut to have flown on three Shenzhou missions. Claude Nicollier was the first Swiss astronaut and flew four space shuttle missions including two servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope.

The interaction was part of the Sino-Swiss Space Science and Technology Cooperation Online Meeting, which was co-sponsored by China Science and Technology Exchange Center and the Swiss Museum of Transport.

The two sides also signed a memorandum to set up a stable exchange and cooperation mechanism, build a platform for the exchange of scientific research institutions and personnel and encourage more entities of scientific research and innovation to participate in Sino-Swiss cooperation.

Claude Nicollier also delivered a video presentation to the Krafft Ehricke 100th Anniversary event in Munich in 2017 sponsored by the Schiller Institute.


China Releases the Most Detailed Geological Map of the Moon

June 8, 2022 (EIRNS)–China has released the most detailed geological map of the Moon, a project which has been the lifelong goal of geochemist Ouyang Ziyuan, the inspiration for, and the chief designer of, the Chinese Chang’e program. Decades before China made the decision to launch a manned space program with an eye on the Moon, Ouyang was gathering data from previous lunar missions of both the U.S. and Russia.

The map is on a scale of 1:2,500.000. Based on the data of China’s Chang’e Project, and making full use of other international lunar exploration data and research results, through the study of the “strata,” morphology, composition, structure and geological age of the lunar surface, a new lunar geological chronology is being proposed.”

“The newly compiled map,” CCTV notes, “updates the Moon’s geological chronology based on a better understanding of the history of the lunar surface which has been categorized into three epochs and six periods. That trio of epochs have been classified as the early stage, dominated by internal geological activities, the middle stage which features both internal and external geological forces, and the late stage which has mainly external forces such as asteroid strikes shaping the Moon’s surface.”


‘Gift to the World’: James Webb Space Telescope – Launched!

Dec. 25 (EIRNS)—Following a flawless launch on Dec. 25, at 7:20 a.m. EST, of the James Webb Space Telescope from the Kourou Space Center in French Guiana, Greg Robinson, NASA Webb program director told a press conference: “The world gave us this telescope, and today we give it to the world.” Indeed, the building and crafting of this precision instrument has involved over 10,000 people from over 14 countries, working together over 25 years.

NASA tweeted, “We have LIFTOFF of the @NASAWebb Space Telescope! … the beginning of a new, exciting decade of science climbed to the sky. Webb’s mission to #UnfoldTheUniverse will change our understanding of space as we know it.” Using optics that can see in the infrared spectrum, this new “gift” to humanity will examine every aspect of our cosmos history, including a look at first galaxies formed 13.5 billion years ago, as well as the atmospheres of exoplanets, and hopefully answer questions about how planets formed and evolved. It also will observe the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The Webb telescope is “unequaled in size and complexity,” the Indian web daily NDTV reported. To give the reader a sense of Webb’s magnification power, “#JWST can see the heat signature of a bumblebee in the distance of the moon,” Dr. John Mather Senior Project Scientist on the James Webb Space Telescope, Tweeted.

During the next “29 days on edge” the Webb will perform a series of complex tasks to ready itself for gazing into the deep space of our Universe. On day three its five-layer sunshield will begin to unfurl. It is “the size of a tennis court,” CNN reported. By day five the sunshield is expected to fully deploy, a process using 107 release mechanisms. Then two weeks into its flight the primary mirror will deploy, and its 18 hexagonal mirrors are to align into “precise positions using 126 actuators,” Florida Today reported. Once all the readying tasks are done, Webb will fire its thruster to travel to its destination, nearly 1 million miles from Earth.

Reflecting the “simultaneity of eternity” and man’s role in developing the Universe, it is noteworthy that the Webb telescope’s destination is what is known as the Lagrange 2 point. Its new home is so named after Italian-French mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange who in 1772 discovered five unique points of equilibrium between the forces of gravity of the Sun, Earth and the Moon. This L2 point will allow for the Webb to remain in an orbit with Earth, the Sun and the Moon on the same side as its solar shield while being close enough to Earth for communications. Webb project scientist Klaus Pontoppidan pointed to the lasting import of this “gift” when he said, “Webb will probably also reveal new questions for future generations of scientists to answer, some of whom may not even be born yet.”


China Launches Tianzhou Cargo Ship Which Docks With the Space Station

China launched the cargo spacecraft Tianzhou-2 on Saturday, May 29, which has docked with the space station core module Tianhe. It delivered supplies for the first crew, equipment, and propellant. The Long March-7 Y3 rocket, carrying Tianzhou-2, blasted off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site at 8:55 p.m. (Beijing Time), according to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA). The launch was a complete success, the CMSA said.

The cargo includes more than 160 large and small packages, including supplies for astronauts, space-science equipment, and two tons of propellant, which are needed to keep the station in a stable orbit. After docking with Tianhe, Tianzhou-2 will replenish Tianhe’s propellant and help test equipment for space application projects.

Three astronauts will be launched on the Shenzhou-12 mission, and will stay in orbit for three months. It will be their job to unpack the goods stowed inside Tianzhou-2. In addition to supplies for the three-astronaut first crew, the gear delivered by Tianzhou-2 also includes two spacesuits for extravehicular activities, each weighing more than 100 kg, which will be needed on future “space walks.” This year, two manned craft will dock with the station.

Tianzhou-2 is also delivering space food, dubbed “space deliveries” by Chinese engineers, including many traditional Chinese dishes. From staple foods to non-staples, from meat to vegetables, the menu is appetizing for Chinese astronauts. Famous stir-fried Chinese dishes like shredded pork with garlic sauce and Kung Pao chicken are both on the menu. (The menu may be an added inducement for non-Chinese astronauts to visit the station.)

Later this year, another cargo vessel will dock with the station, as will a second manned mission. In 2022, the station will be complete, with the addition of the Wentian and Mengtian laboratory modules.

Then it will be open for other countries to send their experiments, their astronauts, or even their entire laboratories, to this truly international space station.


Harvard Scientist: Space Exploration Uplifts and Gives Meaning to Humans’ Lives

Harvard Scientist Says Space Exploration Uplifts and Gives Meaning to Humans’ Lives

May 25 (EIRNS)–In an interview with The Federalist publisher Ben Domenech, on Fox News’s “The Ben Domenech podcast,” Harvard professor Avi Loeb, a renowned theoretical physicist, former chair of Harvard’s astronomy department, and author of the book “Extraterrestrial: The First Sign of Intelligence Life Beyond Earth.” argued that scientific institutions should be taking risks and fund risky research, rather than just promising what they can deliver. “These are the most boring projects,” he said. “If you can tell in advance what you can discover, then it’s not a major advance.” The title of the podcast is “Avi Loeb and the Importance of Inquiry,” in which he discusses an array of subjects.

Loeb argues that Earth’s demise is guaranteed over the long term, so outer space ought to reclaim its fundamental role in the pursuit of academic progress. “Currently, all our eggs are in one basket here on Earth,” he said, “and if any catastrophe happens here it could destroy everything we care about.” Moreover, humans need the inspiration captured by space exploration. “We need something beyond our troubles that lifts us up and gives meaning to our lives,” he said, pointing out that the Apollo program once served that purpose by landing people on the Moon which “changed the psychology of humans.” He also argued that space and religion complement each other: “if you believe in God, then what you want is to appreciate reality to its greatest details. That will give you the wonder and awe that otherwise you would not have.”


China Points to Promethean Nature of Space Exploration–“To Light Up Human Civilization”

China Points to Promethean Nature of Space Exploration–“To Light Up Human Civilization”

May 18 (EIRNS)—At Monday’s Foreign Ministry briefing, spokesman Zhao Lijian responded to a comment about the fact that NASA and Russia had congratulated China for landing its first rover on Mars, with a report about the many congratulations it had received from many other countries around the globe. He also referenced President Xi Jinping’s congratulatory message which pointed out that the Mars landing marked an important step in China’s interstellar exploration–from the exploration of the Earth-Moon system to interplanetary exploration.

In very poetic language, reminiscent of western myth of Prometheus giving fire to mankind, Zhou then said: “The Chinese people have a long-cherished space dream. From Shenzhou, Chang’e and Yutu to Tiangong and Tianwen, these beautiful names are the crystallization of their infinite longing for the distant stars and unknown space. The Mars rover of Tianwen-1 is named Zhurong after the god of fire in ancient Chinese mythology. Fire brought warmth and brightness to the ancestors of humankind, and fire lit up human civilization. Naming China’s first Mars rover after the god of fire signifies igniting the flame of China’s inter-planetary exploration, inspiring those working in this field to surpass themselves and pursue space dreams.

“The universe is also a dream for all humankind. China has always committed itself to peaceful use of space, carried out relevant international exchange and cooperation and shared outcomes in space exploration. With the spirit of seeking benefits for all mankind, China will continue to advance international cooperation in an open and inclusive manner and make greater contributions to the lofty cause of exploring the mysteries of the universe and promoting peace and development for mankind.” (His full remarks are here.)

Compare this beautiful explanation to the pathetic commentary from that NATO outpost in the U.S., the Atlantic Council, in the Fast Thinking daily nuggets it puts out, today entitled, “Mars With Chinese Characteristics.” What does China’s achievement on Mars “mean for the great-power space race?” it asks. “What are the military implications?” It then consults one of its “space experts” who pontificates that Beijing will “continue to challenge U.S. superiority” in space, and warns that if China “pioneers activity beyond low-Earth orbit…the trajectory of U.S. security and prosperity in space comes into question,” calling for the US to lead a NATO-style force into space. (The entire Fast Thinking daily item is here.)


President Xi Awards Highest Science Award to Two Scientists, Including the Developer of China’s Pebble-Bed Reactor

Nov. 3 (EIRNS)–The National Natural Science Award was given in a ceremony on November 3 at the Great Hall of the People by President Xi Jinping to Gu Songfen from the China Aviation Industry Corporation and Wang Dazhong from Tsinghua University. Professor Gu was the first to develop an original design for a Chinese jet fighter in the 1950s. He was also instrumental in pushing China at an early date to move into the area of stealth technology and artificial intelligence.

Professor Wang Dazhong was the chief designer of spherical nuclear fuel elements, which are essential for fourth generation pebble-bed high-temperature reactors. He was leading the work on the first demonstration reactor at Tsinghua University at a time when the world was moving away from this technology. As a result of his work, China has now constructed two commercial pebble-bed reactors in Shandong province, the first of which is to be connected to the electricity grid before the end of this year. With the lead in this technology, China is prepared to become a major producer of these reactors for export.


Schiller Institute Internet Dialogue — ‘Need Creative Genius of the World to Bear on Haiti and Afghanistan’

Sept. 25 (EIRNS)—Today the Schiller Institute held an international webinar titled, “Reconstructing Haiti—America’s Way Out of the ‘Global Britain’ Trap. The two-and-a-half-hour discussion featured elements of a proposed development outline for Haiti, as well as immediate emergency action required, and brought together experts, with ties to Haiti, in engineering, medicine and development policy. Today’s deliberations stand in stark contrast to the events of the week, which included the U.S. forced deportation of thousands of displaced Haitians from the Texas-Mexico border, back to Haiti, to disaster conditions from the August earthquake and before.  

The six panelists were Richard Freeman, co-author of “The Schiller Institute Plan To Develop Haiti,” which EIR will publish this week for its Oct. 1 issue; Eric Walcott, Director of Strategic Partnerships, Institute of Caribbean Studies; Firmin Backer, co-founder and President of the Haiti Renewal Alliance; Joel DeJean, engineer and Texas activist with The LaRouche Organization; Dr. Walter Faggett, MD, based in Washington, D.C., where he is former Chief Medical Officer of the District of Columbia, and currently Co-Chairman of the Health Council of D.C.’s Ward 8, and an international leader with the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites; and moderator Dennis Speed of the Schiller Institute. 

Freeman presented both the dimensions of both the extreme underdevelopment forced for decades on Haiti, and also the essentials of a development program for that nation, in the context of development of all the Island of Hispaniola, and the Caribbean. He presented a map of proposed rail, nuclear power sites, safe water systems and other vital infrastructure. He showed maps of proposals that Chinese firms had made in recent years, but which fell into abeyance.

Firmin Backer pointed out that the USAID has spent $5.1 billion in Haiti over the 11 years since the 2010 earthquake, but what is there to show for it? Now, with the latest earthquake on Aug. 14, we can’t even get aid into the stricken zones, because there is no airport nor port in southern Haiti to serve the stricken people. We should reassess how wrongly the U.S. funding was spent. Firmin reported how Haiti was given some debt cancellation by the IMF years back, but then disallowed from seeking foreign credit! 

Eric Walcott was adamant, “We need the creative genius of the world to bear on Haiti and Afghanistan.” He said, “leverage the diaspora” to develop Haiti. There are more Haitian medics in New York and Miami than all of Haiti. He stressed that Haiti is not poor; the conditions are what is poor. But the population has pride, talent and resourcefulness. Walcott made a special point about elections in Haiti. He said, “Elections are a process,” not an event. He has experience. From 1998 to 2000, Walcott served as the lead observer for the OAS, for elections in Haiti. 

Joel DeJean, an American of Haitian lineage, was forceful about the need to aim for the highest level in that nation, for example, leapfrog from charcoal to nuclear power. He advised, “give China the opportunity” to deploy the very latest nuclear technology in Haiti—the pebble-bed gas cooled modular reactor. We “don’t need more nuclear submarines, we need nuclear technology!” He called for the establishment of a development bank in Haiti, and other specifics. 

Dr. Faggett summed up at many points, with the widest viewpoint and encouragement of action. He served in the U.S. military’s “Caribbean Peace-Keeping Force,” and was emphatic about taking action not only in Haiti, but worldwide. He referenced President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, saying that “you can tell a lot about people, by how they take care of the health of their people.” He reported that, at present, aid workers in Haiti, are having to shelter in place, because of the terrible conditions. 

But, he said, we should mobilize. Have “vaccine diplomacy,” and work to build a health platform in Haiti, and a health care delivery system the world over. He is “excited about realizing Helga’s mission,” referring to Helga Zepp-LaRouche, Chairwoman of the Schiller Institute, who issued a call in June 2020, for a world health security platform. At that time, she and Dr. Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, formed the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites


UAE: 2022 Planned Moon Landing

UAE Takes Another Cosmic Step: 2022 Planned Moon Landing

April 18 (EIRNS)–On April 14, mission team members announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Japanese space company {ispace} will collaborate to land the UAE’s robotic Rashid moon-rover on the surface of the Moon in 2022, via the HAKUTO-R lander.

This will be the first Moon landing for the Arab world and for Japan. Only three nations so far have landed on the Moon – the former Soviet Union, the United States, and China.

Like the naming of the Hope Orbiter, the name of this 22-lb. moon-rover is important: the name Rashid in Arabic means (loosely translated, “rightly guided”), and Rāshid is one of the 99 names of God in the Qur’an. It will land near the equator on the near side of the Moon, but the exact landing site has not yet been announced.

According to space.com, “The little four-wheeled rover will study its surroundings for at least one lunar day, or about 14 Earth days, using a high-resolution camera, a thermal imager, a microscopic imager and a Langmuir probe. This latter instrument could help scientists better understand the electrically charged environment at the lunar surface, which is apparently caused by the solar wind, the stream of charged particles flowing constantly from the sun.”

“The Emirates Lunar Mission represents a milestone in the UAE’s space sector, as the mission will contribute towards providing valuable data and information relating to the moon that will serve the global scientific community as well as test capabilities that would be crucial for manned missions to Mars,” Adnan AlRais, senior director of the [Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre] MBRSC’s Remote Sensing Department.

“We are honored that MBRSC has entrusted ispace’s lunar payload transportation service to play a key role in carrying out this historic moment for the UAE,” ispace founder and CEO Takeshi Hakamada said in a statement.

ispace is planning to launch its second lunar mission, which will also include a rover deployment, in 2023. Both of those flights are expected to lift off aboard SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets.


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