CUHK Joins USRA as the First Asian Member University
Being the first Asian university member of Universities Space Research Association (USRA), Professor Lin Hui, director of the Institute of Space and Earth Information Science (ISEIS) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), was invited to the 40th anniversary of USRA held at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington D.C. on 26 March. He was also warmly received at the annual dinner of USRA Council of Institutions. It is a strategic move of USRA to invite CUHK to be its member, signifying its commitment to enhance international collaborations in space programmes. Through CUHK, it is hoped that communication and collaborations with China in space science and technology can be strengthened.
The keynote speakers of this annual celebration included Dr. Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 NASA Astronaut and former U.S. Senator; Ms. Anousheh Ansari, the first female private space explorer; Mr. Paul Kaminski, former under secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Technology; and Professor Jean-Jacques Dordain, Director General of the European Space Agency and Chancellor of International Space University.
Professor Lin was also invited to visit the Space and Earth Sciences Research Laboratory of NASA Ames Center in California, where he gave a seminar talk entitled “The Development of Geo-Information Science and Technology in China”. During the visit, plans for future collaboration on UAV for wild fire monitoring were explored.
USRA was founded in 1969 under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences and sponsored by NASA. USRA focuses on space-related technical competencies with the goal of expanding knowledge and developing technology for the benefit of the academic community, space-related industries, and NASA's mission to "pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research". Currently, USRA comprises about 100 member universities, including Harvard University, Yale University, Stanford University, Princeton University, University of Toronto and CUHK.