PolyU Expert Makes Further Contribution to China’s Lunar Exploration Programme

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The signing of an agreement between The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) has brought together top-notch experts from both sides to work on the development of sophisticated space tool for collecting sample of lunar rock in the third phase of China's lunar exploration programme.

Professor Zhang Hongtai (right), Vice President of CAST, and PolyU Deputy President and Provost Professor Philip C.H. Chan signing the agreement

The signing of an agreement between The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and China Academy of Space Technology (CAST) has brought together top-notch experts from both sides to work on the development of sophisticated space tool for collecting sample of lunar rock in the third phase of China's lunar exploration programme.

Witnessed by PolyU President Professor Timothy W. Tong, Vice President (Research Development) Professor Alex Wai, and Professor Yung Kai-leung, who has been recently appointed by China National Space Administration's Lunar Exploration Program Center as an expert member for the third phase of China's lunar exploration programme, the landmark deal was signed on 20 April by Professor Zhang Hongtai, Vice President of CAST, and PolyU Deputy President and Provost Professor Philip C.H. Chan on the university campus. Professor Zhang also led a delegation to visit PolyU.

China's lunar exploration programme is broadly categorized into three phases by "Orbiting, Landing and Returning". The first phase has come to fruition, with both Chang'E I and Chang'E II satellites duly completing their mission. In the second phase, PolyU expert Professor Yung Kai-leung is engaged in the research and development of a "Camera Pointing System". He will further collaborate with mainland experts to develop a "Surface Sampling and Packing System" for the third phase of the lunar exploration programme.

PolyU has been working closely with CAST. In 2010, both parties signed a pact for the establishment of a Joint Laboratory in Precision Engineering for Space Applications. CAST also donated advanced space research equipment for the Joint Laboratory.

Established in 1968 with the late aerospace scientist Qian Xuesen as its founding President, CAST is currently the most important research and engineering base for China's space flight missions. It is an integral unit of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

On PolyU side, Professor Yung has a wealth of experience in making sophisticated space tools for different missions. These include the "Mars Rock Corer" for the European Space Agency's 2003 Mars Express Mission, the Space Holinser Forceps for the then MIR Space Station, and the "Soil Preparation System" for the Sino-Russian Space Mission in 2011. All these space tools were made in the University's well-equipped Industrial Centre.

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Press contact: Mr Wilfred Lai
Division Head (Media and Community Relations), Communications and Public Affairs Office

Tel: (852) 2766 5218
Email: pawilfred(at)inet.polyu.edu.hk

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