The China National Space Administration (CNSA) announced that Macao Science 1, the first space science satellite jointly developed by the Mainland and Macao, was launched with a Long March-2C carrier rocket at 16:00, 21st May, from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre.
Macao Science 1 features A+B joint observation, in which Satellite A carries payloads like high-precision vector magnetometers and standard-scale magnetometers to detect Earth’s magnetic field. In contrast, Satellite B includes high-energy particle detectors and solar X-ray instruments to obtain data on the space environment such as solar radiation and high-energy particles that serve the ends of geomagnetic field detection. It will provide valuable data for long-term studies of the geomagnetic field, advancing China’s various fields of study such as lithospheric magnetic field, origins of the geomagnetic field, forecast on space weather, geomagnetic navigation, spacecraft operation safety, and boost technology development in high-precision field explorations by satellite and multiparametric joint observation.
After the successful launching of Macao Science 1, the next major phase of the project is in-orbit tests on all the scientific payloads on the satellite. Starting in late May, the team of scientists at Macao University of Science and Technology (M.U.S.T.) will commence in-orbit tests in Xi’an for 6 to 12 months. After they are completed, Macao Science 1 will be handed over to the team of Macao Science 1 scientists at M.U.S.T. for at least 5 years, and this team will undertake comprehensive scientific research with the data obtained from the satellites.
The Project “Macao Science 1” encourages open sharing and application of scientific data. Under relevant data policies, it will promote extensive cooperation with domestic and foreign research institutions for increased output in scientific research and promote joint cultivation and exchange of talents. It is expected that the project will drive aerospace research and Macao’s youth space science education.