Wu Jie, director of the National Center for Space Science of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), presented the placement of the Dark Particle Explorer (DAMPE) satellite, “Wukong,” at the center’s science mission hall in Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China. China, on December 24, 2015.
BEIJING, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) A thousand people may have a thousand answers as to why we explore space. For 64-year-old Chinese scientist Wu Jie, space exploration has a more self-reflective meaning.
“When one enters space, one realizes that human beings are all indivisible. Regardless of skin color, they have much more in common than differences,” said Wu, president of the China Society for Space Research.
According to this belief, for more than two decades, Wu has been adamant in one thing – strengthening international cooperation in the field of space science.
In July, at the 44th Scientific Assembly of Greece’s Space Research Committee, Wu was awarded the International Cooperation Medal, which honors scientists who have made outstanding contributions to international cooperation in space science.
This is the first time in 38 years since the award has been given to a Chinese scientist.
years of efforts
Like many astronomers, Wu’s initial dream was lit up by a “star”.
The sight of China’s first satellite, “Dongfanghong-1” in the night sky, has been in Wu’s memory for more than 50 years. Since then, he has been looking forward to space exploration.
In the 1980s, Wu studied at the European Space Agency (ESA), where he entered the door of space science research. “Many of the partners I worked with at that time became my lifelong friends and established contacts for international cooperation later,” he said.
In 1994, after completing his postdoctoral research in Denmark, Wu returned to work in China.
In 1997, Wu took charge of the Double Star space mission, China’s first space science program. In collaboration with the European Space Agency’s Cluster mission, the program has achieved coordinated six-point measurements of the Earth’s magnetosphere for the first time in human history. The International Joint Team was awarded the Laurels Team Achievement Award from the International Academy of Astronautics in 2010.
Wu believes that the most important thing in the international cooperation process is communication and trust. “Because of the differences in management style and culture, there was friction at first, but it succeeded later through coordination.”
In 2011, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) launched a space science project. As director of CAS’s National Space Science Center at the time, Wu began to lead the master plan for China’s space science satellites.
This particular project has produced a series of science satellites, including the Dark Matter Particle Explorer, also known as Wukong, the world’s first quantum satellite. Quantum Experiments in the Space Scale, also known as Mozi; The hard X-ray modulation telescope, as well as the Shijian-10 recoverable satellite.
“China is a big country and should contribute to human civilization. Scientific discoveries are shared by humans, and China’s breakthroughs in frontier science are achievements for all of humanity,” Wu said.
He believes that international cooperation should be actively pursued in frontier science fields such as space science because funding is limited in one country, and cooperation can avoid duplication of investment and enable all parties to reap greater benefits.
“In space weather research, for example, a single country cannot obtain complete data on its own. Therefore, international cooperation is both necessary and indispensable,” Wu added.
His enthusiasm for international cooperation has not been dampened by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, Wu chaired a forum on space science cooperation in Taiyuan City, North China’s Shanxi Province.
During the forum, Wu and more than 30 scientists and global management experts called for deeper cooperation in space science.
a future vision
Wu said that China and other countries will cooperate extensively in the field of space science in the future.
“The Chinese space station will be open to foreign astronauts. It will be part of mankind’s journey beyond Earth and contribute to building a community with a shared future for mankind,” he said.
Moreover, China will also provide opportunities to carry scientific instruments from other countries on the Chang’e-6 mission to the moon and the asteroid probe mission, and will jointly start building an international lunar research station with Russia, Wu said.
“China’s new scientific satellite program for the period from 2025 to 2030 is now under discussion, many of which will involve international cooperation,” he said.
Wu is now promoting cooperation between China, the United States, Japan, Finland, Russia, Brazil and other countries to create a constellation of 10 small satellites to explore Earth’s radiation belts and provide a theoretical basis for space weather forecasting.
In addition to being a scientist, Wu has another identity – a science fiction writer. In his books, he envisions a future in which more people will travel in space.
He said, “When people look at Earth from outer space, their perception will definitely change. They will love their planet more, and they will become advocates for building a community with a shared future for humanity.” ■