In DepthSpace

China announces new flotilla of space science missions

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Science  13 Jul 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6398, pp. 116-117
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6398.116

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The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) last week confirmed plans to launch four new space science missions starting in 2020. First up is a fast-tracked mission of opportunity that will place two satellites in orbit on opposite sides of Earth to survey the skies for gamma rays emanating from the cataclysmic cosmic events that produce gravitational waves. Other probes will explore x-ray astronomy, study solar flares and coronal mass ejections, and use a new technique to image Earth's magnetosphere. Although China's separately managed manned space flight and lunar exploration programs attract the headlines, CAS's space science efforts are gaining strength. Recent successful missions include a suite of microgravity experiments carried in a capsule that returned to Earth and a satellite that demonstrated quantum entanglement over a record-setting 1200 kilometers.