HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

University of Hong Kong injects $10m into Hangzhou space lab

It also aims to launch a micro-satellite on a Chinese rocket in 2019.

The University of Hong Kong is injecting $10m (US$1.28m) into the establishment of a new space research laboratory near Hangzhou in Zhejiang province in a move that marks deepening research collaboration with the Mainland, reports South China Morning Post. 

The new facility will be called University of Hong Kong Zhejiang Institute of Research and Innovation (HKU-ZIRI) and will boost opportunities for space research in Hong Kong and the Mainland. Confirmed staff include astrophysicist Dr Meng Su and Mars expert Dr Joseph Michalski.

“This strategic investment is designed to help put space and planetary sciences and space-related activities squarely on the map at HKU,” Professor Quentin Parker, associate dean (global) in the faculty of science and acting director of the HKU Laboratory for Space Research told SCMP. 

Also read: Hong Kong urged to double university research funding to $4b to maintain competitive edge

Slated for opening in the next few months, the lab aims to launch a micro-satellite named HKU No 1 on a Chinese rocket by 2019. The satellite hosts a 50 kg x-ray telescope built by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation in Beijing.

The HKU lab will fund the work of two postdoctoral fellows from leading mainland educational institutions – the Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at Peking University and a space and astrophysics group from Nanjing University.

“These shared positions will be hosted by the physics and earth sciences departments at HKU 50 per cent of the time. This will help turbo charge collaboration and opportunities for Hong Kong-based scientists with top mainland space and astrophysics groups,” he said.

Photo from Adon3465 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

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