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Honors for Achievements in Space Science
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World leading scientists were rewarded in Beijing on Monday for their outstanding contributions to space science. Six awards in the field of space science were presented to winners at the opening ceremony of the 36th Assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) in Beijing on Monday night.


The COSPAR Space Science Award went to Prof. Atsuhiro Nishida from the National Committee for Space Research of the Science Council of Japan and Prof. Eberhard T. Grun from the University of Heidelberg.


"Nishida has been one of the most innovative physicists in the world space physics community," said Roger-Maurice Bonnet, president of COSPAR. "Grun has been playing a leading role in the exploration of interplanetary and interstellar dust and has decisively shaped the concept of dust astronomy," he said.


Other awards including COSPAR International Cooperation Medal, COSPAR Nordberg Medal, Royal Society/COSPAR Massey Award, ISRO/COSPAR Vikram Sarabhai Medal and the Zeldovich Medals went respectively to Dr. Raymond A. Greenwald, Prof. John P. Burrows, Dr. Charles Elachi, Prof. Rajagopal Sridharan and nine other scientists.


The medals are awarded every two years to scientists who have contributed significantly to the promotion of international scientific cooperation.


The Chinese President sent a congratulatory letter to the assembly. He said outer space was the shared resource of mankind and exploration, peaceful utilization and the development of space was the right of all nations around the world.


Society also shared the responsibility of maintaining a peaceful and clean space, Hu said. In his letter, Hu said mankind had traveled a long path in exploring space and had made fruitful achievements.


In the past half century, mankind had grown to understand the environment of space, studied planets in the solar system and more precisely explained cosmic origins and the evolution of the galaxy, Hu said. All those achievements had pushed forward society.


Society was expecting to witness new breakthroughs in space science and technology in the 21st century, Hu said. Advancement of space science would further improve mankind’s ability to understand, utilize and explore the universe, he added.


As an important international scientific organization, Hu said, the COSPAR had contributed to international cooperation in space science. The Chinese government supported activities sponsored by the group and was willing to enhance friendly cooperation with them.


Hu said he believed with concerted efforts by people from around the world and the scientific community space science was going to have a bright future and benefit everyone.


(Xinhua News Agency July 18, 2006)

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