China’s 10 Biggest Sci-Tech Projects

Seven undertakings in which the people’s republic is leading the way into the future

1. Programming the fastest supercomputer

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Unveiled recently, China’s Sunway Taihu-Light, with 93 petaflops of processing power is the world fastest supercomputer. The system is powered entirely by locally made processors, and is three times more powerful than the previous record holder, also from china, and five times faster than the speediest US system.

2. Building the largest radio telescope

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The five hundred meter aperture spherical telescope (FAST) will be the largest radio telescope upon its completion in september 2016. Costing 700 million yuan ($105 million) and located at Guizhou Province, FAST will be used to detect ancient hydrogen signals, hunt for pulsars, and search for alien life.

3. Hunting for Particles

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The Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment is a particle physics project involving China, Chile, the U.S., Taiwan, Russia, and the Czech Republic. It is situated 3000m (984 ft) underground, where huge particle detectors located kilometers apart monitor rare events when neutrinos collide with regular particles. The work has already won a 2016 breakthrough Prizes in Physics for two chinese researchers on the project.

4. Exploring The Deep

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Rainbowfish is a second generation Chinese deep submergence vehicle scheduled for service in 2019. Its ultimate goal is manned exploration of the 11-km (6.8-mile) deep Mariana Trench, which has been reached by humans only twice. The privately-funded project sees three potential customers: scientists, tourists, and oil companies.

5. Catching Up In Space

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Since the launch of its first satellite in 1970, China has sent several orbiters and probes into space, establishing itself as a leader in space research and exploration. It has already sent 10 taikonauts to space, launched its own space lab in 2011, and landed a spacecraft in the moon in 2013. It aims to send a robotic Mars probe before 20133 and a manned mission sometime afterwards.

6. Healing The Blind

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Of China’s 1.4 billion people, 8 million are blind, and the latest Chinese Bioengineering project is transplanting pig corneas on blind patients. The procedure, which has repeated success rate of over 90%, involves removing animal DNA in the pig cornea and repopulating it with the human patient’s cells before being implanted in the eye.

7. Leading The Robot Revolution

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It’s estimated that China will have more than one third of the world;d industrial robots by 2018. Guangdong province plans to invest $154 billion in factory robots, while its capital Guangzhou targets automating 80% if its manufacturing by 202. Meanwhile, the first robot-only factory is being built in nearby Dongguan city.