BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) — For Chinese scientists and engineers, the previous 12 months have been a 12 months like no different.

With the pandemic nonetheless raging, scientific and technological self-reliance took heart stage, bringing in advances in frontiers like house exploration, quantum science, and the battle in opposition to COVID-19.

At the Beijing Aerospace Control Center this 12 months, Zhang Rongqiao and Sun Jun had been no strangers to the “big red screen.” The large show turns purple when a mission is said successful.

On May 15, Zhang Rongqiao, chief designer of China’s first Mars exploration mission, wiped tears from his eyes as Mars probe Tianwen-1 landed safely on the purple planet. It was the nation’s first profitable Mars mission and a large leap for deep house exploration.

Launched on July 23, 2020, Tianwen-1 arrived at Mars in February and landed the lander and rover in May. Since then, the rover Zhurong has traveled greater than 1,200 meters on the planet and is presently heading towards a area that may have been the shoreline of an historical ocean, on the lookout for clues about Mars’ evolution.

Earlier this month, Zhang was included on Nature’s record of 10 individuals who had been a part of massive tales in science in 2021. He mentioned the touchdown gave him a style of the outdated Chinese saying, “it takes 10 years to sharpen a good sword.”

Sun Jun understands precisely what Zhang means by the outdated Chinese saying.

Sun, chief engineer of the house mission on the Beijing Aerospace Control Center, began along with his colleagues in 1995. “We didn’t have a single line of software code or computers, never mind a ready-to-use guidebook,” he recalled.

This 12 months, Sun and his colleagues witnessed “big red screen” moments a number of occasions: the launch of the house station core module Tianhe, two launches of the cargo freighters Tianzhou-2 and Tianzhou-3, two crewed flights of Shenzhou-12 and Shenzhou-13, the secure return to Earth of the Shenzhou-12 crew, 4 extravehicular actions and a dwell class from the house station.

“Now we can say that we can safely and freely build, control, operate, and maintain the space station,” Sun informed reporters this month.

Like house analysis and engineering, quantum analysis additionally continued to achieve momentum this 12 months. The quantum analysis staff from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) once more hit the spotlight record of the 12 months.

Last 12 months, China’s quantum pc, Jiuzhang, carried out a calculation in 200 seconds that will take a supercomputer 2.5 billion years to finish.

Critics say it is unclear whether or not the issue a U.S. quantum pc solved was certainly past the capabilities of a traditional machine, and Jiuzhang isn’t simply reprogrammable to unravel a couple of downside.

In an interview with Outlook Weekly below Xinhua, Chinese quantum physicist Pan Jianwei mentioned it took the staff 20 years to make the breakthrough of Jiuzhang in 2020. They achieved a sequence of improvements on ideas and applied sciences this 12 months, and Jiuzhang 2.0 arrived to deal with numerous points.

In the 2021 “Highlights of the Year” story, the American Physical Society mentioned “the USTC results stand out because they provided compelling arguments that a computer had finally achieved quantum primacy,” a quantum system’s skill to outperform the very best classical pc in a given activity. “The researchers observed exceptional quantum computational speedups that made the claim of quantum primacy hard to dispute.”

As house and quantum researchers reap the rewards from years of dedication, Chinese vaccine producers and drug builders have earned plaudits from racing in opposition to the clock to battle COVID-19.

Throughout the 12 months, China has been selling mass vaccination together with the worldwide vaccination plan. Earlier this month, two COVID-19 medicines had been granted emergency approval, China’s first authorised COVID-19 virus-neutralizing antibody mixture remedy with impartial mental property rights.

Self-reliant innovation by no means ends, famous Sun. “Core technologies can only come from a country’s own innovation,” he mentioned. “You’d better hold the safety rope yourself, rather than leave it to others.”

Although tensions and the pandemic restricted worldwide cooperation, China has by no means forgotten to share its achievements and make encouraging commitments to the worldwide group.

The nation has delivered on its promise to make vaccines world public items and made continued efforts to enhance vaccine accessibility and affordability in creating international locations. Over 1.8 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been offered to greater than 120 international locations and worldwide organizations.

In March, China introduced that its Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, the world’s largest single-dish radio observatory, will be accessed by astronomers worldwide.

On Dec. 1, Tianwen-1 and the European Space Agency’s Mars Express spacecraft efficiently carried out an in-orbit relay communication take a look at. As the relay communication tools interfaces of Zhurong and Mars Express match and conform to worldwide requirements, the Tianwen-1 and Mars Express groups will cooperate additional in scientific information relay communication.

China has pledged to make its house station an open platform for worldwide cooperation. A complete of 17 international locations will take part in the experiments aboard China’s house station, protecting aerospace drugs, life sciences and biotechnology, and astronomy.