10 October 2017
The China-based FAST, the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, has identified two pulsars after one year of trial operation, the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) said on 10 October 2017. Two of the pulsars, named J1859-01 and J1931-01, are 16,000 light years and 4,100 light years from Earth with rotation periods of 1.83 seconds and 0.59 seconds, respectively. According to Li Di, Chief Scientist at the radio astronomy division of the NAOC, the two pulsars were discovered on 22 August and 25 August when FAST was drift-scanning the southern galactic plane. The discovery was confirmed in September by the Parkes radio telescope in Australia.

close-up photos of FAST's technical hardware

09 September 2017
China launched Venezuela's remote sensing satellite, VRSS-2, into a preset orbit from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in the Gobi desert at 12:13 local time on 09 September. The VRSS-2 was the third satellite to be jointly launched by China and Venezuela. It will be primarily used by Venezuela for land resource inspection, environmental protection, disaster monitoring and management, crop yield estimation and city planning.

more details on NASASpaceflight.com

04 October 2017
Professor Marian Scott, OBE, FRSE, and Vice-President (International) of the Royal Society of Edinburgh has been part of the science delegation to China which was led by Jocelyn Bell Burnell. The Scottish scientists met with presidents and other influential individuals from leading national academies and related bodies in China and visited several research institute. Professor Scott wrote about the visit: "From our conversations with them and others, it is apparent that the Chinese see many areas where collaboration and partnerships would be beneficial, for example in space science, big data, renewable energy, robotics, sustainable cities, cultural heritage, plant genetics and food security and medical science."

27 September 2017
Shenzhou 10 taikonaut, Wang Yaping, was speaking at the InnoTech Expo at the Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, on 26 September. She said her dream was to return to space and explore further into unchartered territory. “Hong Kong people will definitely have opportunities to join the nation’s space missions in the future,” the 37-year-old said. “The country currently has two batches of astronauts. All are military pilots from the air force. But we’re now recruiting the third batch … and we also select from scientists and researchers.”

03 October 2017
A dozen silkworms whose parents took a spin around the planet have been donated to a Hong Kong secondary school. Last October, six of the insects were taken on-board the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft, China’s sixth manned space mission and its longest to date, which saw two astronauts, Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong, spend 30 days orbiting in the Tiangong-2 space laboratory. On 2 October, the astronauts donated the descendants of these “space silkworms” to the school, who will study them to see if the favourable variation will be inherited.

29 September 2017
AsiaSat 9 comsat was successfully launched onboard a Proton-M rocket on 29 September 2017 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. The satellite is AsiaSat’s next generation satellite, planned to replace AsiaSat 4 at 122 degrees East Longitude. AsiaSat 9 is a Space Systems Loral 1300 satellite equipped with 28 C-band and 32 Ku-band transponders, and a Ka-band payload. AsiaSat 9, operated by Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (AsiaSat), will provide additional capacity, enhanced power and coverage for DTH, video distribution, private networks and broadband services across the Asia-Pacific region.