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Kurchatov Institute To Create a Joint Russia-Belarus Scientific Research Center

Kurchatov Institute To Create a Joint Russia-Belarus Scientific Research Center–

July 28 (EIRNS)—The president of the Kurchatov Institute Scientific Research Center Mikhail Kovalchuk announced yesterday that his Institute and Belarus’s National Academy of Sciences had signed a roadmap to jointly establish “powerful projects related to new research infrastructure based on powerful installations—mega-sciences—[that] are now unfolding in front of us.”

Kovalchuk stated: “The program has also been launched in Russia and it is expected to become the world’s most accomplished research infrastructure in 5-7 years…. Importantly, both Belarus and Russia have the required tools. If we create this single infrastructural research space, we will become leaders in drawing other [Commonwealth of Independent States] CIS partners into this effort.”

He further said that “We have also proposed that a branch of the Kurchatov Institute be set up on the premises of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus to strengthen integration and cooperation. Also, we proposed that a branch of the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute be opened in Belarus in the field of new education.”

The TASS wire reporting on this announcement characterized the Kurchatov Institute National Research Center as “one of the leading research facilities in Russia and in the world. With its creation, Russia has set up a unique inter-disciplinary scientific and technical compound that comprises the Kurchatov specialized synchrotron radiation source (KISI-Kurchatov), the U-70 accelerator, the IR-8 and VVR-M neutron research reactors, the PIK high-flux research reactor, the T-10 and T-15 tokamak thermonuclear installations, plasma and other units.”

Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency Formally Launched

July 27, 2021 (EIRNS)—During the July 24 summit of foreign ministers of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (Celac), held in Mexico City, five nations joined with Mexico to officially establish the Latin American and Caribbean Space Agency (AECL). Mexico, Argentina, Ecuador, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Costa Rica are the current signatories, but when Celac heads of state meet in September, it is expected that several more governments will sign on. When a preliminary agreement on AECL’s founding was reached last October, participants expressed great optimism that space exploration and related technological and scientific developments and spin offs would be the best way to address the poverty and underdevelopment affecting all their nations.

The same sentiment was expressed by the foreign ministers who signed on July 24, according to Forbes Mexico the same day. The agency’s creation, said Ecuador’s foreign minister, Mauricio Montalvo, is the result of the “coordinated and harmonious work” within Celac which will “certainly be of benefit to all of our societies.” Costa Rican foreign minister Rodolfo Solano added that “in the case of Costa Rica, together with nations like Mexico, I find no more responsible way to celebrate 200 years of independent life than to think of the next 200 years, and see space as the frontier to be conquered.” And addressing the skeptics, or those who ask why poor nations think space exploration is an option, Paraguay’s foreign minister, Euclides Acevedo, put it this way: “We may not yet have satellites to place in orbit, but we are beginning to place in orbit those enemies of success, those apostles of failure, the mediocre and the resentful.”

Bolivian President: A Fight for ‘Scientific Bolivia’ Is a Fight for the Future

Bolivian President: A Fight for ‘Scientific Bolivia’ Is a Fight for the Future —

July 27, 2021 (EIRNS)—Yesterday Bolivian President Luis Arce, together with other government officials and Rosatom’s deputy director general, Kirill Komarov, presided over the ceremony in the city of El Alto to inaugurate construction of a research reactor, which is the third component in the state-of-the-art Nuclear Technology Research and Development Center (CIDTN) being built in the city of El Alto, next to La Paz, by the Bolivian Nuclear Energy Agency and Rosatom Overseas. The other two components include a Radiopharmacology Cyclotron complex (CCRP), which will produce isotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer patients and a Multipurpose Irradiation Plant, the construction of which is already underway and scheduled to be completed by year’s end. The research reactor should be completed by 2024.

The project’s location in El Alto carries special significance. When the Project Democracy “Maidan” coup government took over in November of 2019, it immediately shut down the project, while military and police repressed the city’s largely indigenous population that had opposed the coup. When President Arce took power last November, he immediately restarted the project. At 4,000 meters above sea level, CIDTN is the largest Russian-sponsored project in Ibero-America and, as Komarov explained, is considered to be a top priority for Rosatom. “The project is unique, a technological marvel that will put Bolivia on a par with the major countries of the world,” RT reported him as saying. Arce has emphasized that this project is not just for Bolivians, but “for all of humanity,” and as he expressed it yesterday, quite beautifully, is also to ensure that young Bolivians have a future. Future generations, he said, “will inherit and harvest what we do today in terms of technological advancement; they shall be the standard-bearers of scientific Bolivia, because a millenarian people with advanced technology is invincible. So, I want to take this opportunity to assure you that as a national government, we have the firmest will and conviction to advance on the road to scientific development for Bolivians… Our country needs highly-trained human resources in nuclear engineering, chemical engineering and biotechnology to advance toward a change from the pattern of accumulation to the transformation of our country’s productive matrix, which is moreover, a challenge for Latin America and the Caribbean,” the President’s press office reported. The full press release is here.   

Space Science – China-Russia Move Ahead

China-Russia Lunar Station To Be at South Pole, Will Start Unmanned

March 15 (EIRNS)—Xinhua published a report March 14 on the lunar research station planned by the China-Russia MOU signed March 9, which it characterized as “the fourth phase of [China’s] lunar exploration program, while implying it would be a prelude to, rather than part of, manned exploration of the lunar surface. Wu [Weiren] did say, though, that manned lunar missions are on China’s agenda”—the highest-level scientist to give that definite an answer to date. Xinhua took its coverage from an interview by China Space News with Wu Weiren, the chief designer of China’s lunar exploration program, member of the Academy of Engineering.

Three missions were named: lunar sample return by Chang’e-6, resource survey of the South Pole by Chang’e-7, and technology testing by Chang’e-8 in preparation for the construction of the station. These robotic landings are planned to take place in the next few years. Wu said that in the five-year period 2021-25, China will keep developing heavy launch vehicles and “achieve breakthroughs in rocket body sizes and engine thrust to support deep space exploration, in which the Moon is included. The implication is that once the three missions above are implemented, China will be engaged in studying manned landing at the South Pole “for a long-term lunar stay” at the site of the research station. The South Pole, which could have more than 180 consecutive days of sunlight, “would be highly convenient for astronauts carrying out scientific research,” Xinhua reported.

Wu is quoted: “If the lunar research station project can be successfully implemented, China will not be far away from achieving manned landing on the Moon.” And his message to young people was, “In the vast universe, I hope that more young people will dream, explore, and fight.”

Space: China-Russia Lunar Exploration; will the U.S. Join?

Global Times Praises China-Russia Space Cooperation; Offers Joint Work with the U.S. as Well

March 11, 2021 (EIRNS) – The March 10 edition of Global Times contained an enthusiastic editorial on the announcement earlier this week that China and Russia will be cooperating extensively in space. Under the headline “China, Russia joint lunar exploration generates high expectations,” the editorial was upbeat about the prospects.

“First, this plan is very likely to be implemented. Russia accumulated rich experience in lunar exploration during the Soviet Union era, and it has developed a strong space technology… China and Russia have the stable political conditions necessary for long-term cooperation. The cooperation will in turn strengthen bilateral strategic mutual trust and promote comprehensive cooperation in various fields.”

Global Times explained that although the U.S. Artemis program, launched in 2017, is also an international space cooperation project, China and Russia were excluded from participating in it. “China-Russia space cooperation has the conditions to achieve equal and mutual benefits, and none will dominate over the other. The Artemis program is obviously dominated by the US, and others, including the European Space Agency, play the secondary role.”

The Chinese-Russian approach will be different, the editorial argued. “The joint construction of the lunar scientific research station between China and Russia will provide new channels and areas for international space exploration and boost its true internationalization… In the long run, most resources needed for human development will come from outer space. One day, there will be many businesses in the space industry and future generations will see wonderful changes in this field.”

Chinese-Russian space cooperation “can also set a positive example with political implications. We also hope that China-Russia cooperation in lunar exploration will stimulate and promote greater international cooperation. The invisible boundary between the East and the West will be further broken. But of course, it depends on how the US reacts and interacts with China-Russia cooperation in the future.”

China-Russia To Set Up a Lunar Research Station

China-Russia Sign MoU To Set Up a Lunar Research Station

March 9, 2021 (EIRNS) — Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin and Director of the China National Space Administration (CNSA) Zhang Keijan this week signed a memorandum of mutual understanding on behalf of their governments on cooperation in creating an international lunar research station, Roscosmos and CNSA announced today, TASS reported.

The International Lunar Research Station (ILRS) is described as a comprehensive scientific experiment base, built on the lunar surface or in the lunar orbit, that can carry out multi-disciplinary and multi-objective scientific research activities including exploration and utilization, lunar-based observation, basic scientific experiment and technical verification, and long-term autonomous operation, Space News reported today.

China and Russia have previously signed agreements for cooperation on China’s multi-spacecraft Chang’e-7 and Russia’s Luna 27 missions and a joint data center for lunar and deep space exploration. Chang’e-7 is scheduled for around 2023-24, and Russia’s Luna 27 mission, to be preceded by Luna 25 and Luna 26 missions, is scheduled for this decade.

According to a statement by the China National Space Administration, the two sides will uphold the principle of joining consultation, construction, and sharing, to push forward cooperation concerning the building of the international research station on the Moon, the statement read. The project will also “ be open to nations that are interested in the project as well as partners of the international community.”

The international lunar scientific and research station will be a comprehensive base for long-term, autonomous experiments, providing a platform that is tasked to enable exploration and use of the Moon, and a slew of basic scientific experiments and technology verification projects either on the lunar surface or in the lunar orbit, according to the CNSA. Previously, China and Russia have signed agreements on cooperation on two planned missions, the “Chang’e-7” mission to investigate the lunar pole and a “Moon Resources-1” mission.

According to Space News, the early stage of the ILRS would consist of a number of discrete spacecraft, in contrast to a more complex, integrated program such as the International Space Station. Reportedly, China will soon begin construction of a Chinese Space Station. This will be an important ingredient in China’s planned deep space human spaceflight. In May 2020, China tested a new generation spacecraft and is reportedly developing two separate super-heavy-lift launchers for space infrastructure and crewed missions.

China: Space Station by 2022!

China: Space Station to Be Unveiled by 2022!

Mar. 6 (EIRNS)–The China National Space Administration (CNSA), has announced that 11 launches are planned with 12 astronauts by 2023, and the inauguration of a space station by 2022.

The goals were made public on the sidelines of a conference of the National Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference on Saturday by former astronaut and current deputy chief engineer of the China Manned Space program, Yang Liwei.

According to reports in Tass and Sputnik press, Yang encouraged youth to join the space exploration efforts. The CNSA concluded its third recruitment campaign of astronauts last October, which includes 17 men and one woman. Previous campaigns focused only on military personnel, but because their ambitious plan to inaugurate a space station by 2022 will include a variety of disciplines, such as engineering and construction, the recruitment has been opened to civilians.

Global Space Cooperation

Jubilation in Paraguay Over Launching of First Satellite

March 4, 2021 (EIRNS)–With great pride and excitement, Paraguay launched its first satellite, GuaraniSat-1, on Feb. 20, from NASA’s launch facility on Wallops Island, Virginia–an event considered to be of great historic significance for the country. Two days after launch, the Northrop Grumman Cygnus supply ship carrying the nanosatellite docked at the International Space Station (ISS) from which Guaranisat-1 will be placed in orbit in the next month or two. This CUBESAT satellite which measures only 10x10x10 cm, was developed by the Paraguayan Space Agency (AEP) as part of multi-nation program known as BIRDS-4, developed by Japan’s Kyushu Technological Institute and backed by Japan’s space agency, JAXA. Once in orbit, GuaraniSat-1 will be involved in monitoring the prevalence of Chagas disease in the country’s Chaco region, but Paraguayan engineer Adolfo Jara told EFE news agency that the satellite will actually have to perform nine missions in the space of a year and a half.

Amidst much jubilation and congratulations, an AEP twitter feed showing two small children happily reporting on the launch and waving the Paraguayan flag, captured the nation’s sentiment. The head of the AEP’s Planning Division, Jorge Kurita, told EFE that the AEP’s participation in this program has had a “domino effect” in “the creation of research teams in the space sector, applied to solving problems on Earth.” AEP’s director of Aerospace Development, Alejandro Roman, added that for a country like Paraguay, subject to annual floods and forest fires, the GuaraniSat-1 observation satellite can help in “planning responses. This is an example of how science and space technology can help improve a government’s and a nation’s management” capabilities, “The AEP isn’t just dedicated to the launching of a satellite,” he added. “It’s a means to advance in technological development.”

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Flies an Even More Daring Mission

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Flies an Even More Daring Mission

July 6, 2021 (EIRNS)—NASA reports that Ingenuity successfully completed its ninth and most challenging mission so far on Monday. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Ingenuity’s “mother”) tweeted: “#MarsHelicopter pushes its Red Planet limits. The rotorcraft completed its 9th and most challenging flight yet, flying for 166.4 seconds at a speed of 5 m/s.” That’s 16 feet a second, the fastest speed since the beginning of the experiments in April. The little heli flew about 625 meters (0.4 miles). Ingenuity has been tested performing increasingly greater tasks than originally planned. Yesterday Ingenuity was sent off on a different route than its rover companion, Perseverance, flying over “unfriendly” terrain which has elevations and sandy “ripples,” not the flat terrain for which Ingenuity had been prepared. The “significantly elevated risk” makes it “the most nerve-wracking flight since Flight 1,” JPL wrote in its July 2 pre-flight statement. It was a success, but the full statistics and image collection have yet to arrive back at Earth. Read more here.

Taikonauts Successfully Complete First Space Walk From Tianhe Station

This morning, taikonauts Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo finished all assigned tasks during a seven hour space walk outside China’s Tianhe space station. This is only the second space walk in the history of China’s space program. The first one was in 2008, but it lasted only 20 minutes. As the first taikonauts aboard Tianhe, Liu and Tang with support from Nie Heisheng from inside the station, performed tasks to set up Tianhe for future use.

The completed tasks included raising the external camera to a height that maximizes its ability to record panoramic views; installing and testing footsteps on the working arm and external working station; and conducting an emergency escape drill to rapidly get back inside Tianhe if necessary. The space walk also initiated use of newly designed 130 kilogram space suits.

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