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December 4, 2019

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China to open Asia’s best telescope to world

China’s Tianma Telescope is expected to open to the world, according to an international forum on science in Shanghai.

The Group of Senior Officials on global research infrastructures was initiated in 2008 at the first G8 Science Ministers’ meeting to promote transnational access to global research infrastructures. Members include G7 countries, BRICS countries, Australia, Mexico and the European Commission.

The GSO 14 forum kicked off in Shanghai on Monday and ends today. Officials and experts discussed the further opening of global research infrastructure. This is the first time the event is being held in Asia.

The Tianma Telescope is expected to be listed as China’s open and shared research infrastructure for GSO and BRICS countries, Zhang Quan, director of the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission, told the forum.

Tianma, which is as large as eight basketball courts, with a diameter of 65 meters and a height of 70 meters, stands at the foot of Sheshan Hill in Songjiang District. It now ranks No. 1 in Asia and No. 3 in the world in terms of overall performance.

Li Jiahong, deputy director of the National Science and Technology Infrastructure Center, said: “The forum offers specific standards in building mega science infrastructure and thus China’s big science facilities were designed as shared international platforms.”

“Openness and sharing, embracing the world, has always been a characteristic of Shanghai. The same goes for the city’s scientific community too. We’re willing to share Shanghai’s scientific facilities and various innovation resources with research institutions and scientists worldwide,” Zhang said.

“In recent years, we have increased the format and construction of a number of major scientific infrastructures, focusing on fields like photonics, life sciences and integrated circuits, which laid a solid foundation for Shanghai to accelerate the construction of an innovation hub,” he said.

The National Facility for Protein Science in Shanghai, National Research Center for Translational Medicine (Shanghai), and Living Cell Structure and Function Imaging Line Station have been put into use.

By end-October, the protein facility had served more than 980 groups from 240 research institutions, providing more than 560,000 hours of machine time for users who, in return, have made major scientific breakthroughs in cutting-edge research fields.


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