China’s quest for ‘another Earth’ outside solar system to begin in 2030
Beijing, Apr 26 (EFE).- China will begin searching for habitable planets outside the solar system in 2030, utilizing high-resolution imagery and spectroscopic investigations, Chinese space experts have said.
The under-development plan called “Miyin” is a hunt for more habitable planets, said Zhang Xuhui, executive vice president of the China Academy of Aerospace Science and Technology Innovation.
The official Global Times quoted Zhang saying the first search would begin in 2030 upon completing the basic telescope array.
He made the remarks at a space conference in eastern Hefei City.
The researchers would carry out high-resolution imaging and spectroscopic observations of various types of objects to map the water composition of the solar system, said Zhang.
“The Miyin program is ambitious and significant, but it is still in the technology development phase. In the future, we will advance its maturity through a series of flight tests while making scientific discoveries along the way,” Zhang said.
In 2025, the Chinese space station will be the base for experiments in optical interference technology, also called interferometry, a technique used to study distant celestial objects.
A year later, the scientists would launch a core technology experimental satellite to realize spatially distributed optical interference detection for the first time and demonstrate and verify the core technology of the Miyin program.
By 2030, they will complete the basic type of telescope array for optical interference imaging.
Then the search for habitable exoplanets will begin, Zhang said.
The objective is to map the structure and physical properties of solar system objects, as well as the distribution of solar system molecular components, notably water, and to reveal its origin, dynamics, and chemical composition evolution.
It will also investigate the genesis of livable circumstances on Earth and the emergence of life.
China has invested heavily in its space program in recent years, achieving remarkable milestones like the successful landing of a probe on the Moon’s far side in January 2019. No other country has done that so far.
The Chinese space station, Tiangong, will likely become the only space station when NASA decommissions and deorbits International Space Station by 2031.
The US-led ISS bars China from accessing it due to military ties to its space program. EFE