China space program

China space program, initiated under the leadership of Mao Zedong, started with a satellite development as early as 1965 with a first successful launch in 1970. Today, the ambitious Chinese space program is set to pursue new missions in all the space areas. Especially, in lunar and deep space exploration, it will be implemented increasingly in cooperation in the future to involve as many scientific experts as possible in analyzing data and samples.

China space science in astrophysics

Understanding the structure formation and the first stars around the epoch of re-ionization is a major driver for the next generation of space- and ground-based astronomical facilities. Being the brightest objects in the Universe, Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) are potentially powerful probes of the distant early Universe. At the beginning of the next decade, SVOM, a satellite developed in cooperation between France and China, will be the main provider of GRB positions and spectral parameters. The SVOM instruments will operate simultaneously with a wide range of powerful astronomical devices. This rare instrumental conjunction, combined with the relevance of the scientific topics connected with GRB studies, warrants a remarkable scientific return for SVOM.

SVOM satellite artistic view
CFOSAT satellite artistic view

China space programs in oceanography

China has formulated and implemented a long-term national plan on the development of HY satellites dedicated to oceanography. Today, altimetry data from the second generation of these satellites are integrated the multi-mission altimeter data processing system developed in France. Moreover, an innovative satellite CFOSAT in cooperation between France and China will be launched in 2018 to study ocean surface wind and wave conditions with a view to improving forecasts for marine meteorology and knowledge of climate variability.

Basic research on space medicine in China

Astronauts experiment various symptoms regardless of the duration of the flight when they come back to Earth. The Astronaut Center of China (ACC) implements a program to study the physiological effects during space flights. A fruitful cooperation between CNES and ACC allowed different experiments such as bedrest campaigns, a study in a confinement environment and the flight of the Cardiospace instrument on Tiangong-2.

Cardiospace and Shenzhou 11 taïkonautes on-board Tiangong-2

China space programs on green-house gases

In December 2016, China launched the first Chinese CO2 observing satellite, TanSat. With TanSat and the next generation satellite Gaofen-5 launched in May 2018, China is planning to build up a ground-space carbon monitoring system, integrating carbon emission data and developing carbon emission database and accounting methods, to provide scientific and technical support for addressing global climate change.