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Asteroid named after Chinese aerospace scientist

Updated: Mar 16,2015 9:22 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — An asteroid has been named after Song Jian, a scientist known for his contributions to aerospace engineering, a statement from the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) said on March 16.

A ceremony was held on March 16 to officially announce the naming of Song Jian Asteroid, which was discovered by a Chinese researcher in August 2007, according to the statement.

The asteroid, which is orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, was approved by the Small Bodies Naming Committee of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in October 2014.

Song, born on December 29, 1931, in Shandong province, is an academician of both the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the CAE.

The scientist, also known for his achievements in cybernetics and systems engineering, once served as president of the CAE and vice-chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.

Over the course of his career, Song has led several technological initiatives, including the famous 863 high technology program and the Torch Program for commercializing high-tech research results.

Song’s efforts have played an important role in promoting China’s technological and scientific development, said Xu Kuangdi, honorary chairman of the presidium of the CAE.

Around 120 asteroids have been named after Chinese luminaries, institutions and places.

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