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Experts advocate for greater international cooperation at China Space Science Assembly
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Experts advocate for greater international cooperation at China Space Science Assembly
by Simon Mansfield
Sydney, Australia (SPX) Oct 18, 2023

The 3rd China Space Science Assembly, taking place in Huzhou city in East China's Zhejiang province, has become a forum for scientists to discuss the evolving landscape and emerging trends in space science. A dominant theme at the gathering has been the increasing call for international collaboration in space research and exploration.

Jean-Jacques Dordain, the former director-general of the European Space Agency (ESA), emphasized that "we have no alternative to cooperation, because we are living on one planet, meaning that we have only one common future." Dordain highlighted that in an increasingly intricate world, cooperation is more crucial than ever. He noted that collaboration is steadily becoming more achievable, grounded in mutual interest, mutual understanding, and trust.

Wang Chi, director of the National Space Science Centre (NSSC) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), disclosed plans for the Solar Wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE), a joint mission between CAS and ESA. The mission, set to launch in 2025, aims to deepen our understanding of the Sun-Earth connection by studying the interaction between solar winds and Earth's magnetosphere.

Wu Ji, chairman of the Chinese Society of Space Research (CSSR), told Xinhua in an exclusive interview that space science aims to decipher the natural laws governing space, contributing to the common pool of human knowledge. He added that international partnerships in space science could yield higher efficiencies, richer outcomes, and maximized scientific returns for all nations involved.

China has been assertive in fostering international partnerships, sharing data from its scientific satellites with the global community. Wu Ji mentioned two such initiatives: the Gravitational Wave High-energy Electromagnetic Counterpart All-sky Monitor (GECAM) and the Advanced Space-based Solar Observatory (ASO-S).

Sun Yueqiang, a researcher at the NSSC, is also among the attendees of the assembly. She has spearheaded the creation of the International Laboratory on Climate and Atmosphere Research with Occultation and Reflectometry Observing Systems. Yueqiang's team has partnered with the University of Graz in Austria and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) to develop a shared Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) remote sensing climate database. The collaboration also aims to advance new GNSS remote sensing technologies and boost the field of GNSS meteorology.

Organized by the CSSR, the Zhejiang Association for Science and Technology, and the Huzhou City government, the assembly, which runs from October 14 to 17, has drawn more than 1,000 experts and scholars. These attendees come from a diverse range of organizations including research institutes, universities, and enterprises across China.

While the 3rd China Space Science Assembly serves as a domestic platform for China to discuss its progress and future endeavors in space science, it also acts as a global forum, encouraging dialogue and partnerships that could shape the trajectory of international space science in the years to come.

ai.spacedaily.com analysis

Relevance Scores:

1. Space and Defense Industry Analyst: 9/10
2. Stock and Finance Market Analyst: 7/10
3. Government Policy Analyst: 8/10

Analyst Summary:

The 3rd China Space Science Assembly held in Huzhou is a critical juncture in the evolving geopolitics and economics of space science. Addressing emerging trends and the increasing necessity for international collaboration, the forum provides key insights valuable to various sectors, including space and defense, financial markets, and government policy.

Space and Defense Industry:

The assembly is highly relevant to space and defense industry analysts given the increasing role of China in the space domain. With Jean-Jacques Dordain, the former director-general of the European Space Agency, emphasizing the inevitable reliance on international collaboration, this showcases a paradigm shift from the traditionally competitive nature of space exploration toward a cooperative model. Projects like SMILE highlight the technological collaborations that could alter the space defense sector by contributing unique capabilities to Earth monitoring and space situational awareness.

Stock and Financial Markets:

The implications here are substantial, albeit more indirect. Collaborative ventures like the Solar Wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE) could potentially offer investment opportunities for companies involved in satellite manufacturing, data analysis, and even downstream applications. Public or private entities with a stake in these areas might find the evolving partnerships between CAS and ESA a litmus test for future investments.

Government Policy:

The push for international collaboration by a nation-state with the geopolitical standing of China necessitates a reevaluation of space policies globally. It has implications for international space law, data sharing, and potentially, national security.

Comparison with Historical Trends:

In the past 25 years, the space and defense industry has transitioned from being predominantly a two-player field (U.S. and Russia) into a multipolar environment with significant contributions from Europe, China, and emerging players like India. Unlike the 'space race' era characterized by competition, recent years are witnessing a surge in international collaborations. However, a noticeable discrepancy exists in the nature of projects; they now cover broader scientific objectives rather than primarily focusing on strategic military advantages.

Investigative Questions:

1. How could international collaborations potentially impact the commercial viability of new space technologies?

2. Could China's assertiveness in fostering international space collaborations alter the U.S.'s stance on space diplomacy, especially with allies and partners?

3. What are the implications for data security and intellectual property in such international collaborative projects?

4. How do such international collaborations align or conflict with existing international agreements on space and celestial bodies?

5. What measures are in place to ensure that these international collaborations do not mask technology transfers that could have dual civilian and military applications?

The implications of this assembly stretch far and wide, necessitating a multidisciplinary approach to grasp its future impacts fully.

Related Links
National Space Science Centre
The Chinese Space Program - News, Policy and Technology
China News from SinoDaily.com

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