News & AnalysisSpace Science

Chinese Academy Takes Space Under Its Wing

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Science  20 May 2011:
Vol. 332, Issue 6032, pp. 904
DOI: 10.1126/science.332.6032.904

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On 3 May, the Chinese Academy of Sciences announced that five space science missions were slated for launch in CAS's decadal plan, which began this year. The bevy of missions marks a turning point for Chinese space science. China has sent more than 100 satellites into space, but only one had a dedicated science mission; the rest have served purposes such as telecommunications, surveillance, remote sensing, and weather forecasting. Even China's two lunar missions—Chang'e-1 and -2—were driven primarily by engineering goals and science came second. Now space science, a poor stepchild under the China National Space Administration, has found in CAS a new parent keen to boost its development.