Space Station Of China, 1st of its kind To open For all UN members

According to Hedman, nine projects were chosen, including 23 research institutions and universities from various countries across the world’s five regional groups.

Space Station Of China, 1st of its kind To open For all UN members


Four of the nine first batch international experiments are expected to be sent to the China Space Station in 2023, according to UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) Acting Director Niklas Hedman, who also praised the space station as “truly international” and an “absolutely fantastic opportunity for researchers around the world.”

The UNOOSA official’s remarks came after China completed the assembly of the country’s first permanent space station and all space launch missions scheduled at the construction stage, including the latest Shenzhou-15 manned spaceflight mission.

According to Chinese space observers, the country’s genuine openness to sharing the use of its massive space infrastructure starkly contrasts with and compensates for the current turbulence around the world, which is the result of certain countries’ political games that force countries to take sides in bloc confrontation even in space.

According to Hedman, nine projects were chosen, including 23 research institutions and universities from various countries across the world’s five regional groups. Seven of those projects are currently in the works, and four of those teams may be able to deliver their experiments to the China Manned Space Agency (CMSA) for launch in 2023.

According to the CEO, “The China Space Station is now operational and will be available to international projects and researchers. In that sense, it is truly international. As a result, it is an incredible achievement not only for China’s national space programme but also for the international community.”

“Using the China Space Station is an absolutely fantastic opportunity for researchers all over the world,” he said.

The CMSA and the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) announced in June 2019 that these nine international projects in aerospace medicine, life sciences and biotechnology, microgravity physics and combustion science, astronomy, and other emerging technologies are from 17 countries and 23 research bodies, including Polar-2, a Gamma-ray burst polarimetry project jointly proposed by Switzerland, Poland, Germany, and China, and a spectroscopic investigation of nebular gas by India and Russia.

According to the UN office’s official website, projects from Italy, Japan, Peru, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia were also chosen as the first batch of China Space Station awardees under the UNOOSA cooperation project known as “Access to Space for All.”

According to Chinese space observers, the China Space Station, in contrast to the highly exclusive cooperative mechanism of the International Space Station (ISS), adopts true openness within a UN framework.

The laboratory resources for the International Space Station (ISS), a partnership between NASA, Russia, Canada, the European Space Agency, and Japan that has been in orbit for more than two decades, are divided among the partner nations, who then offer their scientists opportunities to send experiments to the space station.

However, scientists from countries that are not part of the partnership are generally barred from visiting the ISS, according to the New York Times on December 4.

The Chinese Space Station is the first of its kind to be accessible to all UN member states. Let us hope that China’s manned space programme will achieve even greater success and that China’s space station will soon become a “home in space” for all, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian at a routine press conference on November 1.

China extends only fair and sincere invitations to the rest of the world to join it on board its space station, particularly to developing countries that do not meet the high threshold but have ambitious space development plans.

China is concerned and hopes that these countries’ experiments will result in breakthroughs in terms of livelihood improvement in sectors such as communications and agriculture. Wang Ya’nan,  editor of Beijing-based Aerospace Knowledge magazine, told on Sunday.

The world may face uncertainties and great turbulence as a result of political games staged by the US to force countries to take sides in the camp confrontation, but Wang predicts that true openness and inclusiveness will prevail in space cooperation.

Although the US-led project did not make it to the first batch of international projects on the China Space Station, Wang believes the door to future collaboration is still open. “It is the result of scientific consideration, rather than a political decision, in that the United States has closed the door to inviting China to participate in ISS cooperation.”

Aside from genuine openness, the newer China Space Station’s technological advantages attract researchers from all over the world, Sun Jianchao, the technology manager with the Chinese team of the Polar-2, said on Sunday.

Sun explained that the China Space Station has high-volume and high-speed data transmission capabilities, as well as a powerful in-orbit computing capability provided by the space station’s supercomputer, which facilitates space experiments.

42 applications were received during the primary stage of the selection process from scientists from 27 countries and regions in Asia, Europe, North and South America. Applications were received from 72 international cooperation teams and 258 research fellows.

Sun recalled that it took about a year for the four-nation applicants to get approval to join in 2019.

The POLAR-2 experiment is expected to be delivered to the China Space Station via the Tianzhou cargo spacecraft by 2025. It will then be mounted outside the cabin of the Wentian lab module with the help of taikonauts and the smart robotic arms, according to Sun.

Data will be shared among project participants in an undifferentiated manner, Sun said.