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The Ministry of Science and Technology
People's Republic of China


N0.221 April 30,2000
    1. Top Ten News on China's Space S&T
    2. China's Digital Library 
    3. 1:50000 Database for China's Basic Geographic Information System
    4. World First Centimeter Carbon60 Single Crystal
    5. Computer Storage Bottleneck Problem Solved
    6. Planting Trees by “Dry Water” in West China
    7. China's First Applied Genetic Chip

Top Ten News on China's Space S&T

On the eve of the 30th anniversary of China's first launch of its man made earth satellite, the Selection Committee membered with 20 and more academicians from Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering in the field of space science and technology announced the results on April 23, 2000 of the selected top ten news on China's space science and technology in the last 3 decades of the 20th Centary.

1. Successful launch of China's first man made earth satellite. China's first man made earth satellite Dongfanghong No.1 took off from its launching pad on April 24, 1970, with the help of Long March I carrier rocket, which hallmarked China's entry into the space age.

2. Successful launch of retrievable satellite. On November 26, 1975, China's Long March II carrier rocket successfully sent China's first retrievable satelliteinto orbit, which was then recovered as scheduled after its threeday space life. The development is a major breakthrough on China's reentry technology of space vehicles and made China the third country in the world possessing satellite retrieving technologies.

3. Successful launch of geostationary telecommunication satellite. On April 8, 1984, Long March III carrier rocket successfully sent Dongfanghong II experimental telecommunication satellite into the space, which demonstrated China's space technology into the application stage. China has become the fifth country in the world capable of developing and launching geostationary satellites.

4. Successful launch of China's experimental spacecraft “Divine Ship”. On
November 20, 1999, the new carrier rocket of the Long March series successfully escorted China's first experimental spacecraft “Divine Ship” into the orbit which was recovered on November 21, 1999. This is a historical leap of China's space technology.

5. Joint development and launch of resources satellite by China and Brazil. On October 14, 1999, Long March IV carrier rocket successfully shot Resource I satellite jointly manufactured by Chinese and Brazilian scientists into space with its integrated performance reaching internationally advanced level. This shows China's further extension of applied satellite functions.

6. Successful launch of China's solar stationary meteorological satellite. On September 7, 1988, Long March IV carrier rocket successfully launched China's first solar stationary meteorological satellite Fengyun I serving for the modernization of China's meteorological services.

7. Successful launch of large capacity carrier rocket. On August 14, 1992, China's Long March II tiedup carrier rocket successfully launched Australian telecommunication satellite manufactured by American Hughs Company. Long March II tiedup rocket is proud of its advanced technologies in large thrust force engine,large radome, tiedup technique and etc.

8. Successful launch of large volume telecommunication satellite. On May 12, 1997, China's Long March IIIA carrier rocket successfully launched Dongfanghong III telecommunication satellite, which marked a major breakthrough in China's large volume telecommunication satellite technology.

9. China's announcement of its entry into international commercial satellite launching market. On October 25, 1985, the Chinese Government announced that its Long March series carrier rockets would provide contract services for satellite carrying and launching. Since April 7, 1990 when China sent No. 1 Asia telecommunication satellite into space for foreign contractors, China has totally sent 26 foreign manufactured satellites into space.

10. Successful launch of highaltitude and large thrust force carrier rocket. On August 20, 1997, Long March IIIB carrier rocket successfully launched Philippine's telecommunication satellite. Major breakthroughs in large thrust hydrogenoxygen engines have made the carrying capacity of the carrier rocket reach 5 tons, which greatly enhanced China's competitiveness in international commercial launching market.

China's Digital Library


The Joint Meeting on China's Digital Library sponsored by Chinese Ministry of Culture was held recently in Beijing, which hallmarks the formal startup of China's Digital Library heading for the substantive implementation phase in the near future.

Applied with high tech digital information database system and representing the future development trend of libraries, China's digital library will become a large knowledge information center of easy access and simple operation without space restriction. It will completely solve the problems of the inconvenience of the Internet and too little Chinese information proportion. In the mid1990s, many institutions in the country started to study the possibility and technologies of establishing the digital library and National 863 Program of Ministry of Science and Technology had listed relevant topics for research. In 1998, Chinese National Library proposed the construction of China Digital Library and won the confirmation of Authorities of Ministry of Culture and relevant academicians and experts. Taking into account the interregional, interagency and intersectional
nature of the project, a joint meeting on the construction of China's digital library was created with the participation of 21 members from Propaganda Department of the CPC Central Committee, Ministry of Education, News and Press Administration and renowned Chinese universities and research institutions, including 6 senior academicians.

It is reported that China's Digital Library will soon see the kickoff of its warming up activities such as defining engineering structures, implementation plans and associated standards, establish the resource database, seeking for solutions for intellectual property rights in the construction of digital library and developing key technologies and demonstration projects.

1:50000 Database for China's Basic
Geographic Information System


The construction of 1:50000 Database for National Basic Geographic Information System, the largest of its kind in the country, was formally kicked off. The entire system composed of 1:50000 grid map database, digital elevation terrain database, positive digital projection database, key topographical elements database, geographical name database and land coverage database will see the completion in 2008.By then it will be able to meet the demand of national economic construction and social development for basic geographic information.

At present there are 19,097 topographic maps covering China's land territories measured at 1:50000. Featured with high resolution and rich descriptions, these maps are the basic materials of extensive applications for the activities relating to regional planning, territory control, resources exploration, environmental protection, geological investigations, rivers and lakes control, farming and water irrigation. 1:50000 database is an important component of National Basic Geographic Information System and together with others such as 1:1000000, 1:250000 and 1: 10000 it constitutes China's earth space data framework. Of the significance to accelerating the construction of China's basic geographic information infrastructures, its fullfledged implementation will not only greatly enhance the service capability and quality of measuring and mapping authorities for providing basic geographic information to all walks of life but also spur the technical upgrading of digitalization of measuring and mapping industry, improving technical innovations of the whole system and promoting the frog leaping development of digital topographical production. 

World First Centimeter Carbon60 Single Crystal

The world's first carbon60 single crystal measured at centimeter level has recently made its debut in Zhejiang University. Experts concerned declared that the said development has created a broader perspective for the application of carbon60 and its compounds in the studies of physics, chemistry and material sciences.

After years of study, Institute of Condensed State Physics, Dept of Physics, Zhejiang University, have found an optimized temperature curve for working on largesize and high quality single crystals with a maximum dimension of 1.3 cm through the gasphase approach. As briefed by Prof. Bao Shining, Head of the Institute, in addition to diamond and graphite, single carbon substance in the nature may appear in the socalled the third state, namely cage molecule. Of them, carbon 60's spherical molecules have attracted great attention of basic and applied research communities for its special symmetrical structures. It is not only a finematerial for optical conductivity and lubricating but may also produce its superconductivity at a lower temperature when mixed with metals such as potassium and derive many other matters of special characteristics when combined with different genes. In this context, carbon60 has drawn the attention of scientific communities since the 1990s.

Selected by National Natural Science Foundation for its 199598 program, the project initiated by Xu Yabo, Li Hongnian and others of Dept. of Physics, Zhejiang University, have achieved a number of results in the studies of carbon60 and the structures and electric state of thin film of carbon60 compounds.

While applauding for its success for carbon60 single crystal at cm level, the research team has also obtained valence electron energy band dispersion of carbon60 and its compounds through cleavage, sedimentation and diffusion and discovered some problems existing in the past theoretical studies.

Experts concerned said that the result constitutes the most important fruit achieved in recent years in carbon compound studies in addition to the success of single walled nanometer carbon tubes.

Computer Storage Bottleneck Problem Solved


DCDHigh Speed Magnetic Disk Buffer Storage, a technology addressing the computer storage bottleneck problem, has recently passed verification check organized by Wuhan Municipal S&T Committee. Experts involved in the verification believe that the successful development of the technology demonstrated China's major breakthrough in the field with its technology and products reaching the internationally advanced level.

Along with the rapid development of internet and ecommerce in recent years, computer industry has troubled with its storage bottleneck problem. Authoritative people have predicted that the storage sector would become another major development following hardware, software and networking. In November 1998, through introducing the concept of high speed buffer storage proposed by Dr. Yang Qing, High Performance Computer Lab, US State University of Rhode Island, General Development Corp. of East Lake Development Zone in Wuhan Municipality developed in collaboration with External Storage System Lab of Central China Polytech University, the only external storage lab in the country, the buffer storage systems for both large and medium and small enterprises. Their terminal product DCD High Speed Magnetic Disk Buffer Storage System realized the conversion from concept to prototype product.

As briefed by Chen Zhilin, Chief Engineer chaired the said development, the technology has addressed the technical difficulty facing computer products manufactured both at home and abroad through replacing expensive NVRAM with cheap magnetic disks. The technology may reach a speed 5 or 10 times faster than the averagedata transmission of the existing computer storage system, easing the storage demand for increasing huge data flow. Some experts predicted that the successful development of the technology DCD with China's own patent right would lead to the emergence of a new industry for computer storage with broad market perspectives.

Planting Trees by “Dry Water” in West China

Facing the drought in west China, the socalled “dry water” technology will be used to help plant trees in the said region.

“Dry water” is a new US patent technology of using bound water in solid state dedicated for afforestation in arid areas. The jellylike matter with a water composition as high as 97% can be gradually released of its content by microbes in the soil to provide the effective water supply to a tree sapling for more than three months, which makes afforestation in very dry areas possible.

It is reported that State Forestry Administration has decided to introduce a small number of “dry water” products for experimental tree planting over Xinjiang,Qinghai, Gansu, Inner Mongolia and Shanxi to determine the massive applications of the technology.

Experts concerned believe that the proven technology successfully applied in US,Australia and Israel is of important practical significance to the biological construction in west China.

China's First Applied Genetic Chip


China's first applied genetic chip made of its own unique technology presented its formal debut at No. 1 Military Medical School on April 17, 2000. The development has elevated China's disease diagnosis from the cell and tissue level to the genetic one.

As disclosed by authorities concerned of No. 1 Military Medical School that the birth of the said genetic chip has solved the problem of collecting thousands of genetic probes on a fast and economic basis with innovative genetic chip expansion technology. Up to date, the chip has gone through lab check and will soon gointo clinical testing. Once proved effective, the clinical diagnosing chip will be put into mass production in the near future.

Genetic chip, also named biochip, is an important component in human gene studies covering gene sequencing, genetic function defining and genetic diagnosing. So far there is no production of genetic chips available in clinical diagnosing in the world.

The successful development of the chip hallmarks the elevation of disease diagnosing from the cell and tissue level to the genetic one. Its development and applications will find extensive perspectives in the areas of environmental pollution control, animal and plant quarantine, organ transplantation, prenatal diagnosing, medicine screening and development.

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