Journey of Chinese Aerospace Technology and Culture 2018: 4th Stop- National Space Science Center (NSSC)

2018-04-03  Share

On April. 3rd, 2018, the Centre organized a technical visit to National Space Science Center (NSSC) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Participants from 2017 MASTA & DOCSTA Program attended this technical visit, and wrote about their experience and thoughts. Here are some excellent journal article and excerpts from the participants.

Journal Article from FARAH UZMA, one Pakistani participant in the field of GNSS:

On April 3rd, 2018, we went to National Space Science Center (NSSC) of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Huairou Campus for technical visit, in which more than forty international students were participated from different countries. The Agenda of this visit given in advance raised our awareness of NSSC projects and its future program.

On the behalf of NSSC, International Cooperation Officer, Mr. Xu Yongjian, extended warm welcome on the arrival of us. During his welcome speech, he mentioned that NSSC is the China’s gateway to space science and the institute which is responsible for planning, developing, launching and operating China’s space science satellite missions. It established in 1958 by CAS, and dedicated itself to developing China’s first artificial satellite, known as Dongfanghong-1(DFH-1). From 1958 to 1968, NSSC designed, developed and tested DFH-1,and built an engineering model before it was handed to industry, paving the way for its successful launch on April 24, 1970.It also spearheads space science research in the fields of space physics, space environment, microwave remote sensing, space engineering technology, etc.

After that, Dr. Gao Chen presented Concurrent Designs Facility (CDF) procedure of NSSC. During his presentation, he talked about multiple topics such as objective of CDF, hardware architecture, software modeling, space craft structure and mechanism, payload design and analysis, its communication analysis.

Afterwards, the participants visited the Space Science Mission Operation Center (SMOC). SMOC is the ground support center in NSSC that performs the operation management of satellite. It is mainly responsible for mission planning and scheduling, payload correction, data receiving and production, archiving of all data and long term data service to science data user community.

Subsequently, On behalf of NSSC, Prof. DONG Xiaolong made a brief introduction of NSSC and its space science activities. He touched upon many scientific and technological achievements made by NSSC, including "WuKong" dark matter detection satellite (DAMPE) ande "Mozi" quantum satellite (QUESS). He mentioned that all those efforts make them feel a sense of achievement, which is a manifesto of the care from the state leaders in the development of space science in China, and also reflects the importance of space science in building a world power of science and technology. In addition, he talked about future strategic priority program on Space Science for 2017 - 2022 years such as Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE), Advanced Space-borne Solar Observatory (ASO-S), Water Cycle Observation Mission (WCOM), Magnetosphere-Ionosphere-Thermosphere Coupling Exploration (MIT).He highlighted the following more future priority topics of NSSC:

Searching and discovering life in the solar system
Dark matter/ Dark energy
Solar system exploration, including comets and asteroids sample return
Solar influence on the Earth system
Earth system science: climate change and global warming
Enabling technologies to cross the above frontiers

In addition, he mentioned that NSSC also offers Ph.D. and master’s programs in the fields of space physics, computer application technology, geo-space exploration technology and electromagnetic theory and microwave technology. After his presentation, participants took the initiative to consult with him, and he answered the questions with patience. Thanks to this visit, everyone got to know the history of space mission in China conducted by NSSC.

As an extension of traditional classroom teaching, this type of technical visit enables students to understand China’s achievements in space mission, to perceive the profound heritage of China’s space structure, to increase its understanding of Chinese technology, China’s vision, China’s approach and Chinese style, and to strengthen international exchange and cooperation in the space industry and promote China's space to the world.

Experts from participants:

RENE ROMAN CEREZO PAREDES from Bolivian wrote: “The visit to the NSSC allowed me to know the history and current state of China's space sciences. The structure of work, the challenges they faced with as the leading organization in space science in China have been clearly described. Therefore, learning about the work of the NSSC is very important for states or organizations involved in space activities, because the work of the NSSC can be taken as a reference.

On the other hand students can identify solutionsmade by the NSSC that could help their states or organizations in spatial issues. This also allows people to generate demand for joint work among space organizations both in China and other countries. Currently the NSSC has already started joint work with some countries, and I believe that there are more countries interested in working together.”

GOKMEN GAMZE, a Turkish participant in the field of Micro-satellite, said: “From the visit to the NSSC, CAS, we get to know the NSSC facilities, studies accomplishments, and also their program on space science from 2011 to 2016 and beyond 2017. China’s visions, purposes and development principles have helped all of these studies become accomplishable. NSSC is a center where a lot of important studies are being conducted successfully.  Seeing these successes with my own eyes gave me an understanding on how much China puts importance on space sciences which I find very helpful to the future. This trip broadened my vision on the importance of these studies as well. ”

MUHAMMAD SHAHID from Pakistan, majoring in Micro-satellite, mentioned in his article that: “ From launching phase to ‘End of Life’ phase, a spacecraft requires constant monitoring and controlling. The spacecraft should remain in particular orbit at particular orientation in order to achieve the specific objectives. For example, solar arrays should always face the sun so that spacecraft could get enough solar energy. Camera should be pointing towards the earth in case of earth monitoring satellites as well. So control of spacecraft in orbit is necessary.

The visit of the NSSC provides the visual and practical illustration of this phenomenon which not only enlightened the students about practical way of launching, controlling and monitoring of spacecraft but also provided a platform to visualize the applications of space technology by giving better understanding of the theoretical knowledge we have gained during our studies in field of Micro-Satellite Technology in subjects like space environment, orbital mechanics etc.”