Month: August 2022

Crew of Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou 14 grows vegetables in space The China Manned Space Program Office recently released the latest video on the orbital activities of the crew of the manned spacecraft Shenzhou 14. Astronaut Cai Xu Zhe’s vegetable cultivation on the Chinese space station was highlighted. The experimental module “Qiantian” is equipped with scientific experiment facilities, including a life ecology experiment rack, a biotechnology experiment rack, a scientific glove box and cryogenic preservation equipment, and a gravity change science experiment rack. The Life and Ecology Experiment Rack uses plant seeds, seedlings, plants, small animals, and other individual organisms as experimental samples to conduct space growth experiments on plants and animals such as Arabidopsis thaliana, echinoidea, Drosophila, and zebrafish. In the video, astronaut Xu-Che Tsai was carefully taking care of the plants in “Qiantian”. Before leaving for space, astronaut Cai Xu Zhe said that there were lettuce seeds in his spaceflight “luggage” and that he planned to grow them on the space station.

Long-wave infrared radiation may enable contact-less human-machine interactions The thermal radiation emitted by human body  in the long-wave infrared region (8-14 μm) is characterized by low photon energy and low power intensity. A research team from the CAS Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) has now designed a highly sensitive long-wave infrared detector that enables the low-power non-contact human-machine interaction. The study was published in Advanced Materials.

Rice seedlings grow on China’s space station Workers retrieve space experiments from the re-entry module of China’s new-generation manned spacecraft prototype during a ceremony in Beijing on May 29, 2022. SU DONG/FOR CHINA DAILY Chinese astronauts have successfully grown rice seedlings onboard the Tiangong space station. They aims to produce the complete life cycle of the plant, which begins with a seed and ends with a mature plant producing new seeds. China launched the Wentian space laboratory into orbit on July 24 to dock with the Chinese space station’s Tianhe core module. The space lab weighs 23 tons and is 17.9 meters tall. Onboard are eight experimental payloads, including the one for the rice experiment. Since the rice experiment began on July 29, the seedlings of the tall shoot rice variety have reached a height of about 30 centimeters, and the seedlings of the dwarf rice variety grew to around 5 cm. Another experiment is with seedlings of Arabidopsis thaliana. The astronauts will keep monitoring the plants, and if the experiment is successful, they will collect the newly produced seeds and bring them back to Earth for further studies. An important issue is to observe how microgravity can affect the plant flowering time on the molecular level and whether it is possible to use the microgravity environment to control the related process. Rice has been a staple food for astronauts since the early days of space exploration. US astronauts onboard the Apollo 11 mission, who were the first humans to land on the moon in July 1969, ate freeze-dried chicken and rice during their trip in space. But if astronauts will land on and explore Mars, bringing food from Earth is not enough to suffice for the astronauts’ long journey and mission in space.

CAS launches AI initiative for biodiversity conservation   The CAS Institute of Automation, the Beijing Representative Office of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, the International Governance Institute of Artificial Intelligence of Tsinghua University, and the Artificial Intelligence Governance Research Center  jointly launched the “Principles of Artificial Intelligence for Biodiversity Conservation” initiative in Beijing. At the conference, nine principles of AI for biodiversity conservation were announced: promoting ecological prosperity, humane and sustainable development, avoiding harm, regulation and protection, safety and control, responsibility, legal compliance, education and training, and cooperation “To achieve real sustainable development in the future technology-enabled society, we need to move from anthropocentrism to ecocentrism, where humans and other creatures are ordinary inhabitants of this planet, and are closely related communities of life. This is the original intention and purpose of our advocacy of AI empowerment for biodiversity conservation.” The CAS Institute of Automation released the “Symbiosis Map”, a network application based on artificial intelligence technology that automatically describes the relationship between humans and various animals and plants, in order to promote the harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. Huawei introduced how to promote 5G, optical network, cloud, artificial intelligence and other technologies with partners to help protect the environment and biodiversity.

China National Offshore Oil Corporation pioneers hydrogen production from offshore natural gas China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has started operation of the first skid-mounted natural gas hydrogen production unit. At full capacity, the unit can produce approximately 11 cubic meters of hydrogen from 4.8 cubic meters of natural gas, and the purity of the hydrogen gas is 99.999%. It can immediately produce high-purity hydrogen gas for use in fuel cell vehicles, filling a void in the domestic Chinese industry.

China prepares for lunar landing and a lunar research station According to Wu Weiren, Chief Designer of the Moon Exploration Project and a member of the CAE, the fourth phase of the Moon Exploration Project entered the implementation phase at the end of 2021. The main goals of the fourth phase of the lunar exploration project are the scientific exploration of the South Pole of the Moon,  and the construction of the basic form of the lunar science research station. The mission will be carried out in three parts, Chang’e 6, Chang’e 7, and Chang’e 8, and is scheduled to be completed by 2030. China will have the capability for a manned lunar landing by 2030, and will lay the foundation for subsequent lunar science research and development, deep space exploration, and space resource utilization.

China will establish national and local carbon emission statistics in 2023 According to the Development and Reform Commission, the National Bureau of Statistics, and the Ministry of Ecology a national and local carbon emissions accounting system will be established by 2023. It will feature a unified and normative carbon emissions accounting system with clear responsibilities and responsibilities. By 2025, the country will be fully committed to the efforts for CO2 emissions peaking out and carbon neutrality.   The implementation plan identifies four key tasks: establishing a national and local carbon emissions accounting system, developing a carbon emissions accounting mechanism for industries and enterprises, establishing and improving the carbon emissions accounting method for key products, and developing a national greenhouse gas inventory mechanism

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