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Taiwan, China, U.S. urged to jointly explore outer spac

2012/03/30 21:48:00

Taipei, March 27 (CNA) The United States, Taiwan and China should jointly explore outer space and avoid overdeveloping their unstable territories, a Taiwan-educated American scientist with the U.S. space agency NASA said Tuesday.

During a speech titled "My Space Dream and Love to the Earth," Liu Han-shou, a scientist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, said if Taiwan used its intelligence, China its ability to innovate and the U.S. its experience to jointly explore outer space, the operation would result in great benefits.

The 82-year-old also cautioned Taiwan, the U.S. and China against developing their territories too heavily.

According to conditions observed by satellite gravimetry, the geological structures of Taiwan, China and the U.S. are unstable, and overdevelopment may lead to earthquakes or geological disasters, he cautioned.

Liu, who was born in China and moved to Hualien County in eastern Taiwan in 1948 during the civil war between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China, shared some of his opinions and experiences of working with NASA via a digital video conference at the Taipei Public Library.

"I originally went to the U.S. to build atomic bombs," he said of his original interest in studying atomic physics.

However, Liu said that a professor of atomic physics at Cornell University told him "the U.S. has enough atomic bombs to keep the world in peace," and suggested he explore the immense universe instead.

He recalled that at a NASA meeting, attended by 200 scientists from around the world, he proposed that Mercury's orbital and rotational periods were locked in a 3:2 ratio rather than the conventional theory of a 1:1 resonance.

He explained that his findings were later affirmed by the International Astronomical Union and they became the basis for the placement of communication satellites.

The discovery was a combination of knowledge in astronomy and quantum mechanics, he said, adding that he studied the latter many years ago in Shanghai.

He said his findings showed that by combining sciences in different fields, scientists might be able to make important breakthroughs.

While admitting that doing research was lonely work, Liu offered advice to would-be researchers.

"My advice for young people is to search for inspiration, not follow others. Wait for opportunities and be patient."

(By Christie Chen and Ann Chen)