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China’s dark matter probe satellite detects 1.6 billion particles

(People's Daily Online)    16:57, November 11, 2016

[File photo]

China’s first dark matter probe satellite had explored 1.6 billion particles by Nov. 10, 328 days after the detector started to search the signals of invisible material.

The satellite, named "Wukong" after the Monkey King character in the Chinese classic "Journey to the West," was launched on Dec. 17, 2015 using a Long March 2-D rocket from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province. The satellite boasts the largest observation scope, as well as the best energy resolution ratio and particle-resolving ability worldwide.

Recently, the satellite’s orbital height has remained stable at around 504 kilometers. Its remote control and load temperature are also in the normal range. Wu Jian, head engineer of the satellite, explained that researchers have revised the data calibration and templates over 4,600 times in order to guarantee precision.

The satellite sent back its first set of observation data several minutes after its operation commenced; its performance has only improved since then. The satellite won recognition from a number of assessment experts thanks to its in-orbit test three months after launching.

Chief scientist Chang Jin said that the satellite focuses on precise detection, high efficiency and low cost. Considering the data, Chang expressed his belief that a breakthrough, adding “Chinese power” to the development of space science, was not far away.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Zhang Tianrui, Bianji)

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