(Yicai Global) March 9 -- Scientists from four of the world’s top universities announced last week the foundation of the Origins Federation, which they hope will lead to a joint investigation into the origins of life on Earth and a search for extraterrestrial life.
Searching for Earth 2.0 is no easy task, and it requires the world’s scientists to make joint efforts, Wang Chi, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and director of the National Space Science Center of the CAS, told Yicai Global yesterday.
Cambridge, Harvard, Chicago, and ETH Zurich are the four universities that launched the Origins Federation. The long-term study will explore extraterrestrial life, whether it be simple microbes or advanced civilizations, the founders said. The work will be enhanced by missions to Mars and Jupiter, and the James Webb Space Telescope.
Scientists have previously found signs of life in the atmosphere of Venus. China will also launch its Tianwen-3 mission to Mars in 2028, which is expected to provide scientists with microbe samples with which to study the possible presence of phenotypes of life, Wang said.
The search for extraterrestrial life is just one of the key areas for China’s space development, Wang said. Chinese scientists will also focus on revealing physical processes and physical laws under extreme conditions, detecting gravitational waves in space, detecting the impact of the sun on the Earth and the solar system, and studying the impact of the space environment on people and other organisms.
“China is still a leader in terms of space technology and application, but its space science needs to be improved,” Wang said.
Wang proposed at this year’s Two Sessions -- China’s key annual policy setting meetings -- that the country must initiate and lead international science programs and cooperate on projects in order to have an international voice.
Editor: Tom Litting