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The Macao Science 1 satellites have been officially deployed

The two satellites, in orbit since May, are now actively monitoring the South Atlantic Anomaly in a groundbreaking project carried out jointly by Macao and mainland China.

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The two satellites, in orbit since May, are now actively monitoring the South Atlantic Anomaly in a groundbreaking project carried out jointly by Macao and mainland China.

ARTICLE BY

PUBLISHED

READING TIME

Less than 1 minute Minutes

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:05 pm

A pair of satellites named after Macao are now fully operational and monitoring the geomagnetic field and space environment of the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA), Xinhua reports.

The Macao Science 1 space exploration satellites were jointly developed by scientific teams in mainland China and Macao. They have been orbiting since May.

On Tuesday, at an official ceremony marking their official deployment, the chief engineer of the China National Space Administration, Li Guoping, said the satellites represented a significant milestone for both Macao and the broader region.

“The satellites will boost Macao’s scientific and technological innovations, help with the transformation of Macao’s economic and social development models, break new ground for scientific and technological cooperation between the mainland and Macao, and set new examples for scientific and technological development in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area,” he said.

[See more: Macao’s prize-winning 5G Smart Campus Network launches at MUST]

The SAA is a weakening of Earth’s magnetic field above the South Atlantic Ocean that allows radiation from outer space to get closer to Earth’s surface. The higher radiation levels interfere with the communication of satellites, space vehicles and aircraft passing over the area, which is located near the equator.

Macao Science 1 is the first project to place an exploration satellite in a near-equatorial orbit to monitor the geomagnetic field and the space environment of the SAA.

Zhang Keke, chief scientist of the satellite project, said Macao Science 1 will provide valuable data on high-precision changes of the geomagnetic field on low altitudes. 

The satellite platforms were manufactured by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation and China’s Northwestern Polytechnical University, while the scientific instruments on both satellites were provided by Macao University of Science and Technology. 

 

UPDATED: 21 Dec 2023, 11:05 pm

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