China plans to advance its space science development in five key areas, including research on habitable planets and the biological and physical sciences in space, according to a senior Chinese space expert.

According to Wang Chi, director of the National Space Science Centre under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, China is developing a national plan recommending the deployment of more scientific satellites in the country’s space program to produce world-leading breakthroughs on topics such as the extreme universe, space-time ripple, Sun-Earth panorama, habitable planets, and biological and physical sciences in space.

Wang made these remarks in a speech at the International Deep Space Exploration Conference held in Hefei, the provincial capital of Anhui Province in eastern China, on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to Wang, the National Space Science Plan, which is presently being evaluated, is the first long-term national plan for China’s space science program, covering the years 2023 through 2045.

A space-borne gravitational wave observatory explores the space-time ripple.

There are 17 top scientific priorities under the five themes, including dark matter and physics in extreme conditions, the origin and evolution of the universe, and the X-ray explorers’ heated universe baryon survey. These three scientific priorities can facilitate research into the distant universe.

The Sun-Earth panorama theme encompasses exploration of the outer solar system, solar observation, observation of space weather in the solar system, exploration of Earth-Moon space in its entirety, and Earth system observatory.

The habitable planet theme encompasses research on Earth, frigid moons in the solar system, and exoplanets, including frontier issues such as the search for extraterrestrial life and its detection, as well as the characterization and imaging of exoplanets.

China’s space station serves as the primary platform for the study of microgravity science, quantum experiments, and the origin and evolution of life in space.

Future missions will be selected based on their scientific significance, technical feasibility, and economic affordability, according to Wang, who added that international cooperation is firmly encouraged at all levels of these missions.

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