China’s race to find aliens

With the world’s largest radio telescope, China could be the first country to detect aliens.

China is focusing on developing space science, including building and putting the world’s largest radio telescope into operation, according to Newsweek.

China has invested heavily in scientific research, especially since the 1980s, according to researcher Ross Andersen, editor of the science and technology section of Atlantic magazine.

The country also reaped many achievements in space science in the 21st century. In 2003, China successfully sent people into space for the first time. In September 2011, Tiangong 1, China’s first manned space station, was launched into orbit and ended its mission in March last year.

China’s race to develop space science reached a new breakthrough as the country completed construction of the world’s largest radio telescope, the 500 m Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) at the core. Limestone pan in Pingtang district, Guizhou province in 2016.

Unlike regular radio stations that only receive signals from stations on Earth, radio telescopes search for signals in outer space. Radio signals do not necessarily come from extraterrestrials, but planets and stars in the universe can also emit radio signals, although the intensity is very weak.

“China’s newest telescope can observe faster and further than any device to search for intelligent life in outer space that has come before it,” said Douglas Vakoch, head of the Send a Message to Intelligence project. extraterrestrial intelligence (METI), said.

Not stopping at the world’s largest radio telescope, China also plans to place a radio station on the dark side of the Moon, that is, the half not facing Earth. The country also cooperates with the European Space Agency (ESA) to plan to build a manned base on the Moon.

In the 13th five-year plan proposed by China last March and effective until 2020, spending on research and development activities increased to 1.2 trillion USD, accounting for at least 2,000 billion USD. 5% of GDP during this period. Space exploration is among the priorities for science spending, according to Science.

Not only China, the US Search for Alien Intelligence (SETI) Project also conducts many activities to detect extraterrestrial life. SETI used the Arecibo telescope in Puerto Rico, the world’s largest telescope before FAST was born, with an observation range nearly twice as large.

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