Press Release

Planetary Science Institute Agreement with Chinese Space Tech Lab Will Advance Exploration Goals

By SpaceRef Editor
December 16, 2015
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Chen Hong, left, the Director of the Qian Xuesen Laboratory, and Mark Sykes, Planetary Science Institute CEO and Director, shake hands in Beijing, China, after signing a cooperation agreement to advance solar system exploration.

The Planetary Science Institute signed a cooperation agreement with Qian Xuesen Laboratory of Space Technology (Qian Xuesen Lab) today to advance their mutual interests in facilitating the open-ended expansion of the exploration of the solar system and to use the knowledge thus gained in supporting the expansion of human activity beyond the Earth. Both institutions also wish to advance their common interest in communicating to the public the knowledge and benefits gained through robotic and human exploration of the solar system.

The lab is named after Qian Xuesen (Hsue-Shen Tsien, used in the U.S.), who is one of the founders of the Caltech Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Qian Xuesen Lab is a part of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), which has been involved in China’s Chang’E missions to the Moon and China’s human space program.

PSI CEO and Director Mark V. Sykes signed the agreement along with Chen Hong, Director of Qian Xuesen Lab.

“China is the first country since 1976 to successfully land a spacecraft on the Moon. They have mapped the surface of the Moon and executed a brilliant flyby of the near-Earth asteroid Toutatis,” said Sykes. “We look forward to working with them.”

While in Beijing, Sykes and Senior Scientist Jian-Yang Li gave presentations at a special workshop about PSI, its current involvement in both NASA and ESA missions, PSI’s education and public outreach activities, and the frontier of the science and utilization of near-Earth objects.

No NASA funds were used in support of this effort, in compliance with federal law.

Alan Fischer
PSI Public Information Officer
+1 520-382-0411, +1 520-622-6300

Mark V. Sykes
PSI CEO and Director
+1 520-622-6300

The Planetary Science Institute is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to solar system exploration. It is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, where it was founded in 1972. PSI scientists are involved in numerous NASA and international missions, the study of Mars and other planets, the Moon, asteroids, comets, interplanetary dust, impact physics, the origin of the solar system, extra-solar planet formation, dynamics, the rise of life, and other areas of research. They conduct fieldwork on all continents around the world. They also are actively involved in science education and public outreach through school programs, children’s books, popular science books and art. PSI scientists are based in 22 states and the District of Columbia, and work from various locations around the world.

SpaceRef staff editor.