China to launch its first dark matter probe this month

World Today

Photo: China Academy of Science

Chinese scientists are planning to launch its first dark matter probe satellite by the end of this year.

Xinhua reports: The satellite named Dark Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE) is designed to detect electrons and photons with unprecedented energy resolution in order to identify possible dark matter signatures. 

The satellite and carrier rocket are fully prepared for blast-off after passing the inspection and approval of the CAS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, according to the scientists. 

It will be the 26th mission for the Long March 2-D rocket.

DAMPE is one of the first four scientific satellites employed in the CAS space program. It will observe the direction, energy and electric charge of high-energy particles in space in search of dark matter.

DAMPE will have the widest observation spectrum and highest energy resolution in the world.

According to experts, DAMPE is designed for increased payload, with the scientific payload weighing 1,410 kg (about 3100 pounds) and the whole satellite weighing 1,850 kg (about 1080 pounds).

This story is compiled with information from Xinhua.