BEIJING, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- The following is a summary of published science and technology news of China.
Hundreds of millions of items of human-made debris are continually circling Earth. Keen to tackle the space-junk problem, Chinese scientists have managed to use a large "sail" to de-orbit spacecraft at the end of their life.
The de-orbiter is a sail-like device made of a thin film, the thickness of which is less than one tenth of the diameter of a hair. Folded, it is approximately the size of an adult's palm, but it can cover an area of 25 square meters when unfolded. When a spacecraft is decommissioned, the sail onboard can be automatically opened. Once deployed, it will increase the effects of air friction, slowing the spacecraft in orbit and speeding up its descent into the Earth's atmosphere, where it will burn up.
FUSION ENERGY RESEARCH
A giant tokamak, an experimental machine in which an ultra-high temperature plasma can be created to simulate the conditions for fusion reaction, has been dismantled and well-packaged in Hefei, the capital of east China's Anhui Province. It is scheduled to be shipped to Thailand in mid-December.
The facility, renamed Thailand Tokamak 1 (TT-1), was developed by the Institute of Plasma Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The ultimate goal of this kind of research is to create nuclear fusion like the sun, using deuterium abound in the sea to provide a steady stream of clean energy.