Friday, August 24, 2012

China to probe black holes, search for aliens

China will ramp up its space exploration plans from 2014, with shiny new kit to probe black holes, study dark matter and search for signs of alien life, according to one of the country’s top astro-boffins.

Su Dingqiang, former president of the Chinese Astronomical Society and member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, revealed the plans to local media at the opening ceremony of the International Astronomical Union (IAU)'s 28th General Assembly on Tuesday.
He said that a hard x-ray modulation telescope (HXMT), currently under construction, will be sent into orbit around the Earth between 2014 and 2016 using a Ziyuan II satellite, according to Xinhua.

Also planned is a dark matter particle explorer (DAMPE), expected to be launched by 2015, as well as a telescope to study the solar magnetic field and a joint project with France to study gamma ray bursts, the report said.


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