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Highlights of China’s science and technology news
updated on:2019-02-05 08:25

The following are the highlights of China’s science and technology news in the past week:

— The rover and the lander of the Chang’e-4 probe have been awakened by sunlight after a long “sleep” during the first extremely cold night on the moon, the China National Space Administration announced.

A lunar day equals 14 days on Earth, and a lunar night is the same length. The Chang’e-4 probe switched to a dormant mode during the lunar night due to the lack of solar power.

— Chang’e-4 probe, having made the first-ever soft landing on moon’s far side, found that the temperature of the lunar surface dropped to as low as minus 190 degrees centigrade, colder than expected. This is the first time Chinese scientists have received first-hand data about the temperatures on the surface of the moon during the lunar night.

— China is going to send more than 50 spacecraft into space via over 30 launches this year, according to the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

The major missions include the third Long March-5 large carrier rocket to be launched in July. If the flight is successful, the fourth Long March-5 carrier rocket will be tasked to send the Chang’e-5 lunar probe to the moon to bring lunar samples back to Earth at the end of 2019.

— China’s first seaborne rocket launch is scheduled for mid-2019 with a Long March-11 carrier rocket set to blast off in the Yellow Sea.

— China will send 10 satellites to join the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS) through seven separate launches this year. These launches will help complete the BDS global network by 2020.

— The National Development and Reform Commission has approved a new radiation light source project, called the High Energy Photon Source. It is expected to be the world’s brightest synchrotron radiation light source, and to produce the most powerful X-rays by 2025.

— China is pushing forward building charging poles and thereby fostering its new energy car sector. It is expected that 600,000 new charging poles will be built this year, 80 percent of them private.

— Chinese scientists have developed a new composite that can effectively soak up mercury in wastewater.

— China has developed an autonomous mining vehicle that can operate 24 hours a day and be loaded and unloaded automatically.

— Scientists have discovered that the abnormal volume of putamen, a subcortical brain area, in adolescents indicates a higher possibility of the development of schizophrenia after adulthood.

— Chinese researchers have found that locusts can send an olfactory signal when forming large swarms, which can be converted to a toxic chemical to facilitate their defenses against their natural enemies.

— The diet of giant pandas 5,000 years ago might have been more diversified than today, when the black-and-white mammal lived in a wider range of environment besides bamboo forest, according to new research.

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