Satellite to Help Young People

A man-made satellite aiming to help young people study space science will be launched by the end of this year, officials from China Youth Development Foundation announced Thursday.

It means Chinese youngsters will finally have their own man-made satellite which will collect and send back detailed information about the earth, Gu Xiaojin, secretary-general of the foundation, said Thursday.

The satellite contains two parts -- a communications unit and an observation unit, according to You Zheng, general manager of the Tsinghua Space and Satellite Company, which is one of the two designers of the satellite.

The other designer is the Veteran Scientists Association of the No. 501 Institute of the Space Technology Corporation.

Armed with high technology devices such as global position system (GPS), remote control communications systems and thermal control systems, it is designed to provide a platform for scientific experiments for young people, You said.

The observation unit is made from a huge balloon covered with a metal coat, which makes it easier to reflect light and can be seen at night without a telescope, he said.

The satellite will pass the earth three times a day when it will be as bright as the North Star.

Named the "Olympic Star," the satellite also carries Chinese children's best wishes for Beijing's victory in its Olympic bid, Gu said.

The foundation invited young people to name the satellite earlier this month. "Most of the name suggestions we received were about the Olympics," Gu said.

(China Daily 07/27/2001)

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