On February 11, NASA’s Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory made the discovery of the century that proved Einstein’s theory of Gravitational Waves. These waves are tiny ripples in the space-time fabric of the universe caused by violent astronomical events.
The project for testing this theory was first launched back in 1993 as a cooperation mission between ESA and NASA. The project was known as LISA, the gravitational wave observatory, composed of 3 satellites set in a triangular way and exchange laser beams among each other. However, in 2011, NASA withdrew from the project supposedly due to budget shortages. Then in December 2, ESA launched LISA which would prepare for ESA’s launch of the future project eLISA in 2035.
However, the discovery of the gravitational waves has piqued the interest of many scientists worldwide, as this discovery has helped them speed up any related research. Chinese scientists in particular seem to have developed an interest in gravitational waves. A group of scientists from the pre-research group of the Chinese Academy of Science have drafted a plan for a new and advanced space gravitational wave detection project that they will be soon submitting to the sci-tech authorities for review.
This project, known as the Taji project, may be adopted by one of 2 plans. The first would be taking 20% shares of ESA’s eLISA project, while the other would see China launching its very own satellite in 2033 to validate ESA’s eLISA project. Chinese scientists behind this project say that China has to be an active participant in this new discovery, as this discovery is a new tool to understand the world. The project will be assigned a budget between 160 millian yuan, equivalent to around $ 24.3 million, and 10 billion yuan.
Scientists are positive that this will motivate young students and new scientists to explore this discovery even further and expand their frontiers of knowledge. They also believe that if China were to launch its own satellite, this would give it a chance to become one of the pioneers in gravitational wave research.