On December 1, 2020, the 16th China-ESA Space Science Bilateral Meeting was jointly held online by National Space Science Center (NSSC) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the European Space Agency (ESA). The webinar was co-hosted by Academician Prof. WANG Chi, Director General of NSSC, and Gunther Hasinger, Director of Science, ESA. Prof. YU Yingjie, Director General of the Bureau for Major R&D Programs of CAS attended the meeting.
Prof. WANG Chi and Gunther Hasinger introduced the space science missions in China and ESA respectively. Prof. WANG also introduced the latest achievements of the missions in the first phase of Strategic Priority Program (SPP), as well as the mission progress of the second phase of SPP and related background studies. Gunther Hasinger highlighted the scientific discoveries achieved by ESA's scientific missions. The two sides also exchanged information on China's plan for space science mission until 2035 and ESA's Voyage 2050, a strategic study.
The meeting focuses on the progress of Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer (SMILE), a joint China-ESA scientific Mission. The joint development of SMILE was affected by a series of negative factors, e.g. the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and export control policies. Facing all these discouraging challenges, China and ESA take active measures with a down-to-earth attitude. Based on the in-depth discussions and extensive study to streamline the development of SMILE mission, both sides reached initial consensus to delay the mission. In addition, the two sides will strengthen cooperation and coordination to overcome the delays caused by the epidemic and other discouraging factors, in the hope that it will bring long-term benefits to the future cooperation at the mission level.
The two sides also exchanged views on other issues of common concern and expressed the intention to resume the face-to-face communication as soon as possible after the pandemic. The 17th China-ESA Space Science Bilateral Meeting will be held in Shanghai with tentative date in September 2021.
China-ESA Space Science Bilateral Meeting was jointly initiated by ESA and CAS in 2004, which evolves as the most important mechanism of communications between the two sides. As a stable platform for Chinese and European scientists in the field of space science, the mechanism has substantially promoted the cooperation and exchanges in the field of space science between the two sides.
(supplied by Office of International Cooperation)
The China-ESA webinar