Global scientists invited to share the benefits of space exploration

China Plus Published: 2019-04-24 22:06:58
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As China celebrates its fourth Space Day on Wednesday, it invited international partners to join its lunar and deep space explorations and expand humanity's shared knowledge about the universe.

China delivers scientific data from international payloads aboard a lunar probe to the Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany in Beijing on April 18, 2019. [Photo: CGTN]

China delivers scientific data from international payloads aboard a lunar probe to the Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany in Beijing on April 18, 2019. [Photo: CGTN]

In an announcement issued by the China National Space Administration, the country invited international partners to cooperate on the Chang'e-6 mission. On offer is the opportunity for payloads of up to 20 kilograms to be carried to the moon in the early 2020s as part of China's expanding lunar exploration program that is seeking to better understand the lunar poles. The offer comes after China and France signed a partnership agreement in March that would see a French scientific payload carried aboard the Chang'e-6 probe.

China also unveiled a plan to explore an asteroid and a comet, and has invited scientists from around the world to participate.

China has become just the third country to develop the capability to soft-land probes on the moon and undertake long-term exploratory missions. It's also the only country with an ongoing lunar probe program. By extending the offer to all countries to participate in its program, China is offering the world's scientists a rare opportunity to gain new knowledge about our Moon.

The United States, the European Union, Japan, India, Israel, and China have all sent probes to the lunar surface in recent years. Unlike the previous space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, this new stage of lunar development is defined not by competition, but by pragmatic cooperation.

It is only by working together to share resources and the knowledge obtained from exploration that we can all benefit from these scientific endeavors. These benefits were illustrated by the discovery of water ice on the moon by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper instrument, which flew aboard India's Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft.

Panoramic photo shows the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe. [Photo: Xinhua/China National Space Administration]

Panoramic photo shows the lander of the Chang'e-4 probe. [Photo: Xinhua/China National Space Administration]

Space exploration touches on issues that affect the lives of everyone on Earth, and no country or organization has the right to monopolize the knowledge it has acquired about our universe. If the exploration of space is viewed through the narrow lens of global political capital and national pride, our efforts will be fragmented and duplication of effort will lead to a great waste of resources. This will hamper humanity's efforts to acquire knowledge about our universe.

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LU Xiankun Professor LU Xiankun is Managing Director of LEDECO Geneva and Associate Partner of IDEAS Centre Geneva. He is Emeritus Professor of China Institute for WTO Studies of the University of International Business and Economics (UIBE) and Wuhan University (WHU) of China and visiting professor or senior research fellow of some other universities and think tanks in China and Europe. He also sits in management of some international business associations and companies, including as Senior Vice President of Shenzhen UEB Technology LTD., a leading e-commerce company of China. Previously, Mr. LU was senior official of Chinese Ministry of Commerce and senior diplomat posted in Europe, including in Geneva as Counsellor and Head of Division of the Permanent Mission of China to the WTO and in Brussels as Commercial Secretary of the Permanent Mission of China to the EU. Benjamin Cavender Benjamin Cavender is a Shanghai based consultant with more than 11 years of experience helping companies understand consumer behavior and develop go to market strategies for China. He is a frequent speaker on economic and consumer trends in China and is often featured on CNBC, Bloomberg, and Channel News Asia. Sara Hsu Sara Hsu is an associate professor from the State University of New York at New Paltz. She is a regular commentator on Chinese economy. Xu Qinduo Xu Qinduo is CRI's former chief correspondent to Washington DC, the United States. He works as the producer, host and commentator for TODAY, a flagship talk show on current affairs. Mr. Xu contributes regularly to English-language newspapers including Shenzhen Daily and Global Times as well as Chinese-language radio and TV services. Lin Shaowen A radio person, Mr. Lin Shaowen is strongly interested in international relations and Chinese politics. As China is quite often misunderstood in the rest of the world, he feels the need to better present the true picture of the country, the policies and meanings. So he talks a lot and is often seen debating. Then friends find a critical Lin Shaowen criticizing and criticized. George N. Tzogopoulos Dr George N. Tzogopoulos is an expert in media and politics/international relations as well as Chinese affairs. He is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre International de Européenne (CIFE) and Visiting Lecturer at the European Institute affiliated with it and is teaching international relations at the Department of Law of the Democritus University of Thrace. George is the author of two books: US Foreign Policy in the European Media: Framing the Rise and Fall of Neoconservatism (IB TAURIS) and The Greek Crisis in the Media: Stereotyping in the International Press (Ashgate) as well as the founder of, an institutional partner of CRI Greek. David Morris David Morris is the Pacific Islands Trade and Investment Commissioner in China, a former Australian diplomat and senior political adviser. Harvey Dzodin After a distinguished career in the US government and American media Dr. Harvey Dzodin is now a Beijing-based freelance columnist for several media outlets. While living in Beijing, he has published over 200 columns with an emphasis on arts, culture and the Belt & Road initiative. He is also a sought-after speaker and advisor in China and abroad. He currently serves as Nonresident Research Fellow of the think tank Center for China and Globalization and Senior Advisor of Tsinghua University National Image Research Center specializing in city branding. Dr. Dzodin was a political appointee of President Jimmy Carter and served as lawyer to a presidential commission. Upon the nomination of the White House and the US State Department he served at the United Nations Office in Vienna, Austria. He was Director and Vice President of the ABC Television in New York for more than two decades.