CMSA and UNOOSA Issued the Selected Projects for the First Cycle for Space Science Experiments on China Space Station
According to the news from China Manned Space Agency (CMSA), CMSA and The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) jointly organized the news conference, and announced the result of the selected projects for the first cycle for space science experiments on China Space Station (CSS) between the United Nations (UN) and China on 12th June, 2019 during the 62nd session of Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) in Vienna, Austria. Nine projects from seventeen countries and twenty-three entities have been selected successfully. UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo, Ambassador WANG Qun of the Permanent Mission of China to Vienna, and CMSA Director HAO Chun attended the meeting.
In order to provide scientists from all over the world, especially from developing countries, with more opportunities to conduct their own experiments on board CSS and be benefited, CMSA and UNOOSA jointly issued the Announcement of Opportunity (AO) to the Member States of UN, and invited them to participate in space science applications on CSS in May, 2018. A total of forty-two project proposals, from twenty-seven countries, have been received after the AO was declared. The proposals cover nine fields including space medicine, space technology, space life science and biotechnology, microgravity fluid physics and combustion science, space materials science, space astronomy, Earth Sciences, basic physics and new utilization technologies.
In order to do have a smooth implementation, CMSA and UNOOSA have established a Project Evaluation and Selection Committee (PESC) and the International Evaluation Expert Group, formulated the selection work plan and standard. Through the two stages of preliminary and final selection, the programme proposal is evaluated in terms of the scientific value and engineering feasibility of the project. In January this year, eighteen applications were shortlisted for preparing implementation schemes for the final evaluation and selection after the careful evaluation of all the applications by PESC in the first meeting. From 10th June to 11th June, the second meeting of PESC was held in Vienna, Austria. The final selection results were confirmed through the evaluation of this meeting.
During the announcement event on 12th June, UNOOSA Director Di Pippo expressed high appreciation for the open of utilization resources in CSS to the Member States of UN. She commented that China's action greatly promotes international cooperation in human space flight, enables more countries to participate in human spaceflight research and technology, and is an effective support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of UN in 2030.On behalf of CMSA, Director HAO Chun expressed his gratitude to the project application teams and collegues and peers home and abroad for their attention and support during the process of applications collection. While supporting the selected teams to carry out the project implementation, CMSA will cooperate with UNOOSA closely to further develop and issue the second cycle of AO in the next step.
In cooperation with UN, opening the gate of CSS to all countries is an important pioneering act of international cooperation in space in China. It is an important symbol of Chinese human spaceflight program moving from independent development to a new era of global cooperation. It demonstrates the confident and open attitude of China's space industry. It is also a concrete expression of building a community with a shared future for mankind and a new type of international relations in the "new domain" of outer space. It is of great significance to carry out international cooperation in human spaceflight in the new era.
At present, the development and construction of CSS is being carried out in an orderly manner. It is planned to be completed and come into service around the year of 2022. CSS belongs not only to China, but also to the whole world. The completion of CSS will make more “Chinese contributions” to the economic and social development of mankind and provide optimized "Chinese Solution ". China is willing to continue to adhere to the principles of peaceful utilization, equality, mutual benefits and common development, to carry out more exchanges and cooperation with all countries and regions in the world committed to peaceful utilization of outer space, to welcome more partners to join the “friendship club” of Chinese human spaceflight cooperation, to build CSS into a shared home for all mankind in outer space and to make outer space a new domain for promoting the common well-being of mankind.