Dutch royal coin in orbit around earth!

Long Marc 2D launch

At 12:13PM (Chinese time) today Dutch company ISIS (Innovative Solutions In Space) launched three CubeSats along with a very special payload into orbit on a Chinese Long March 2D launch vehicle.

The three small satellites were launched in a launch adapter developed by ISIS, called ISIPOD. The ISIPOD “piggybacked” on the launch of a Chinese high resolution earth observation satellite, GF-1. This was the first time ISIS partnered with Chinese launch service provider China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC). However, today’s launch was unique in more ways than one: as the launch date nearly coincides with the abdication of Queen Beatrix and investiture of Prince Willem-Alexander on April 30th, ISIS decided to use this launch opportunity to place a special commemorative coin into orbit. The coin is fixed to the ISIPOD (and will hence not contribute to space debris), and will be orbiting, some 645 km above the earth’s surface, for several years to come.

Commemorative coin

The coin will pass over The Netherlands on Queensday at around 11:00AM, 12:36PM; 2:13PM and 3:51PM Dutch time!

Check out the video from Dutch news broadcaster NOS here (in Dutch). For more information on the launch, please check out the ISIS press release (in Dutch only). More background on the GF-1 satellite here.

Mars One recruits in China

Today on April 26, the founders of the Mars One Project officially launched their search in Asia for the first human settlers of Mars. At the Asia press conference held in Shanghai, the founders of the Mars One Project updated the press on the progress of the project. Since the announcement of the selection programme earlier this week in New York, Mars One received many reactions of prospective settlers.

Mars_one_artist impression first settlement

The Mars One Foundation is the non-for-profit organization that initiated the project to establish human settlement on Mars. Bas van Lansdorp, Co-founder and CEO of Mars One, stressed the goal of the first four Human settlers to come from four different continents including Asia. Technology wise the project is less challenging since the mission will make use of existing technologies available in the space industry. This doesn’t mean the project is easy and doesn’t need lots of preparation according to Bas van Lansdorp. “It will be a one way ticket for the first settlers and they really have to start from scratch to build a new society”.

One of the questions of the Asian press was about the diet of the first settlers to live on Mars. The first settlers have to grow their own vegetables . A concern of the reporter was a diet without meat.

Mars One press conference Shanghai

Mars One press conference Shanghai

Mr. Bas van Lansdorp is one of the speakers at the Dutch Innovators in Science & Technology event in Shanghai, organized by NOST China tonight.

Dutch career event at Fudan University in Shanghai

Today on 25 April, Consul General Peter Potman opened the ‘Dutch Career Day’ event at Fudan University, Shanghai. Mr. Peter Potman praised in his opening remark the various collaboration initiatives between Fudan University and The Netherlands: “The double degree programme of Groningen University and Fudan University is a great example of the many interactions between the university and The Netherlands.”

Dutch Career Day at Fudan University

More than 120 students from Fudan University participated the Dutch Career Day. The students got the chance to learn more about their career opportunities at Dutch companies and what they can expect when working for a Dutch company in China. Four presentations were given by major Dutch companies in China: Philips, Rabobank, Van Hessen and DSM.

The Dutch Career Day was organized by the Dutch Studies Centre at Fudan University as a part of Dutch Days. NOST China supported in the organization.

China’s “Mid and Long Term Outline for Large Science Facilities Development(2012-2030)” published


W020090619490441345590China announced its “Mid and Long Term Outline for Large Science Facilities Development (2012-2030)” last week. This is China’s first systematic strategy paper ever published for national science infrastructure deployment and development.

The Outline listed detailed science facility development plans for the next 20 years in seven key and strategic fields: energy, life sciences, earth system and environment sciences, material sciences, particle physics and nuclear physics, space and astronomical sciences, engineering sciences etc. In these seven fields, the following 16 projects will be built as priorities during the 12th five-year plan period (starting from 2012):

  •  Energy: accelerator-driven transmutation research facilities, efficient low-carbon gas turbine test facility;
  •  Life sciences: translational medical research facilities, animal model for phenotypic and genetic research facilities;
  •  Earth system and environment: sea observatory network, precision gravimetric facilities, Earth system simulator;
  •  Material sciences: high-energy synchrotron radiation source verification facility, the extreme condition experimental science facility, Shanghai Light Source Line Station Project;
  •  Particle physics and nuclear physics: high-current Heavy Ion Accelerator, High-altitude Cosmic Ray Observation Stations;
  •  Space and astronomy: ground simulation facilities for space environment, Chinese Antarctic Observatory;
  •  Engineering and technical field: future internet testing facilities and large low-speed wind tunnel.



Chinese general aviation maker to expand abroad

Cirrus_Aircraft_Vision_SF50China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga) acquired leading general aircraft maker Cirrus Aircraft in the United States in 2011. Caiga is an unit of state-owned China Aviation Industry Corp (Avic), the country’s largest aircraft maker.

The acquisition of Cirrus was the first made by China’s aviation industry in the US aircraft manufacturing sector. The take-over by China Aviation Industry General Aircraft (Caiga) helped the once debt-ridden Cirrus to develop new products and expand its share in the global market to more than 30%.

By the end of this year, Minnesota-based Cirrus will roll out a single-engine, very light business jet of seven to eight seats. Trial flights are due next year.

The merger with Cirrus allowed Caiga to share resources and talent in the US and in China. Caiga is also planning to set up overseas research and development centres in Europe. Caiga’s home-made aircraft are mostly used in areas such as flight training, natural disasters emergency photography, and maritime salvage services.

Caiga introduced a new production line from Cirrus in Zhuhai to meet growing domestic demand for private jets. The first 50 aircrafts will be delivered later this year. (courtesy to the source South China Morning Post).