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Middle Kingdom's bid to space (3)

(Global Times)

09:01, September 30, 2011

Turning ISS experiments into commercially exploitable industries has been hard, and that's why the US has shifted its focus, the paper quoted space technology expert Chen Lan as saying. "What is the first thing to do in space? There is more than one correct answer."

Zhang Shancong, a deputy chief designer of the Tiangong-1, told Xinhua that the module carries special cameras that will take hyperspectral images of China's vast farmlands to detect heavy metal pollution and pesticide residue as well as plant disease.

The launch of the Tiangong-1 deserves some cool-headed reflection, argued the Science Times, a newspaper run by the Chinese Academy of Science.

"China's space programs are yielding low industrial results for the comparatively high budget that goes into them," the newspaper said Wednesday. "A lot that's going on in space is not finding civilian application down on earth."

The more that can be done to increase the civilian component of China's space program the better, Mark Stokes, executive director of the Arlington, Virginia-based Project 2049 Institute, told Bloomberg.

"The US should find ways to cooperate without aiding the military side and is capable of parsing the two," Stokes said.

Agencies contributed to this story

【1】 【2】 【3】

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