Students examine green pepper, a vegetable that has been taken to outer space for scientific experiments. (PHOTO PROVIDED TO CHINA DAILY)
EDINBURGH - Leading space scientists from Britain and China signed a partnership agreement early this month to promote and strengthen both sides' space education and space-culture activities.
Under the memorandum of understanding, a new virtual center will be established to lead space education and space-culture activities between the two countries.
The center will be led by Britain's National Space Academy and a consortium of Chinese laboratories. In the areas of culture and education programs, it will be supported by the University of Nottingham.
The new virtual center partnership will serve as a platform for Sino-British space-education and cultural leadership, which can then be expanded to include participation from other space agencies and new space programs or agencies in the developing world.
"We hope to accelerate the development in this area and in the future expand the program into other developing countries, so as to nurture more talent in space science," says professor Yu Junsheng from Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications. Yu is the consortium's leading scientist.
For the first stage of this partnership, the team aims to select 100 primary and middle schools in China, Britain and countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative to carry out a trial run of the education program, Yu says.
While the center will help spread space education across China, British students and teachers will be offered the chance to participate in summer school programs, including visits to China's astronaut-training and launch centers.
And Britain-China education experiments will be developed to fly in China's space program, according to the UK National Space Academy.
This new center will give British teachers, students and researchers new opportunities to work in partnership with one of the world's most ambitious space programs, says professor Anu Ojha, director of the academy.