Macau’s first scientific satellite is due to be launched into space in 2020/2021, the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) announced on Wednesday, and people from the territory were invited to submit proposals of names by 31 October 2019.
The satellite will not only be Macau’s first but also the first for scientific exploration to be placed in an almost equatorial orbit to measure the geomagnetic field and space environment of the South Atlantic Anomaly, according to the statement issued by the university.
This project, launched by MUST, brings together the efforts of several national and international organisations, such as the China Space Foundation, Northwestern Polytechnic University, of China, the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Harvard University, of the United States, the National Space Science Institute of Denmark, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the University of Leeds and the University of Exeter from the United Kingdom.
The statement adds that Professor Zhang Keke, director of the State Laboratory of Lunar and Planetary Sciences, will take over as chief scientist for this project.
Portuguese-language newspaper Ponto Final reported that the cost of this satellite to Macau will be 200 million patacas (US$25 million), with China taking over the remainder of this project, the final price of which has not been disclosed.
The Macau Government Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Tam Chon Weng, said during a ceremony held at the MUST premises that the satellite is a gift from the Central Government to the Special Administrative Region, which this year celebrates the 20th anniversary of the return to the Chinese administration. (Macauhub)