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Shenzhou IV Flight Reaps Rich Scientific Fruits
After the primary study of the experimental instruments carried in Shenzhou IV, China's fourth unmanned spaceship, and the results of its space experiments during the seven-day flight, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced on January 7 in Beijing that many research results have been obtained, including that in space environment monitoring, microwave remote-sensing observation of the earth and new space technological experiment.

Space environment and its changes are key issues to the safety of the manned spaceship and its astronauts. During its recent mission, Shenzhou IV conducted comprehensive monitoring and forecast of space environment, the first operation of its kind by China. Besides exploring high-layer atmosphere as Shenzhou II and III did, the spaceship also monitored various environmental indexes in its orbit. In addition, it carried the equipment for monitoring the high- and low-energy radiations, the vital factors to astronautsí safety in space.

China is mature in space environment forecast after four unmanned spaceship flights. It has the ability to conduct forecasts of long-, medium- and short-term space environmental situation during the launch and flight of a spaceship, including abnormal situations. The nation is able to provide indexes of solar activities, space radiations, geomagnetic activities and atmosphere situation in spaceshipís orbit, in addition to ringing alarms for emergencies. All these will ensure the safety of the spaceship.

The Shenzhou IV is installed with multi-modes microwave remote sensor, which consists of a microwave radiometer, an altimeter and a dispersion meter. These instruments were used to collect data of the ocean, atmosphere and land relating to precipitations, snow, soil moisture, ocean altitude, ocean circumfluence, as well as the speed and direction of winds on the sea.

The spaceship also successfully finished the experiments of cellís electrical integration in space and the separation and purification of big molecule and cell, laying down a strong foundation for future space bioresearches.

Moreover, with equipment for liquid experiment developed by the nation, the spaceship experimented on micro-gravity liquid physics, bringing in hope for making breakthroughs in this field.

(China.org.cn by Feng Yikun January 15, 2003)

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Chinese Academy of Sciences
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