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Asteroid 212795 Named After Beihang Vice President Fang Jiancheng
Release time:December 13, 2018 / Li Mingzhu

The Naming Ceremony of Asteroid Fangjiancheng and a lecture about deep space exploration were held at the grand lecture hall of Ruxin Conference Center of Beihang University on the morning of December 5.

The naming ceremony

The co-organizers include the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation, the Purple Mountain Observatory (PMO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Beihang University. Nearly 300 attendees from the three institutions were present.

With the approval from the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the asteroid, discovered by PMO on October 9, 2007 and originally known as 212795, was named after Academician Fang Jiancheng, Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Vice President of Beihang University and a leader in the field of inertial instrument and system. Born in 1965, he is a pioneer in the theory and practice of magnetic levitation actuator in China. At the ceremony, the IAU communique of the naming of Asteroid Fangjiancheng was read out by Mr. Duan Ruichun, Secretary General of the Selection Committee of the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation.

Mr. Duan read out the IAU communique

Following Mr. Duan, Mr. Yang Ji, Director of PMO, congratulated Academician Fang and Beihang University on the event. He fully acknowledged the great contributions made by Academician Fang to science and technology and to China. Also from PMO, Mr. Zhao Haibin, Chief Scientist of the near earth object telescopic findergroup, introduced the discovery and orbit of Asteroid Fangjiancheng and looked ahead to the future research, exploration and application about it.

Mr. Yang delivered an address

Mr. Zhao gave a speech

Next, Academician Fang was presented with a disk recording the orbit of Asteroid Fangjiancheng, the naming certificate and a naming brass plate by Mr. Zhao, Mr. Yang and Ms. Zhu Lilan, Chair of the Trust Committee and Director of the Selection Committee of the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation, respectively.

In his speech, Academician Fang expressed his excitement and gratitude for the Selection Committee of the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation, State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, POM and Beihang. He compared the asteroid to a spinning gyroscope and reviewed the commitment made by three generations of Beihangers to the gyroscope industry in China. Looking forward, he was determined to carry on with the cause and stick to the path of independent innovation, aiming for greater advancement of China’s gyroscope technology.

Academician Fang addressed the audience

On behalf of Beihang, President Xu Huibin extended warm congratulations to Academician Fang and thanked the institutions involved. He reviewed the major contributions Beihang has made to the country since its inception, and referred to Academician Fang as an outstanding exemplar of Beihangers and considered Asteroid Fangjiancheng as an inspiration to researchers of Beihang University. According to him, Beihangers will forge ahead with the cause of independent innovation unremittingly and unyieldingly.

President Xu addressed at the ceremony

Ms. Zhu also congratulated Academician Fang and Beihang and spoke highly of his pioneering, fundamental and historic contributions. She recognized his efforts to transform honors into responsibility, motivation and duty after he received the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for Scientific and Technological Achievements in 2008, and expressed her expectation for his team to make further achievements in the course of building an innovative country. She also hoped that members of the scientific community would follow the example of Academician Fang to aim high and accomplish great tasks in this era of widespread innovation and entrepreneurship.

Ms. Zhu spoke at the ceremony

In 2014, 20 years after the founding of the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation, an important memorandum of understanding was signed by PMO and the foundation to name asteroids discovered by PMO after the awardees of the Ho Leung Ho Lee Prize for Scientific and Technological Achievements, the highest prize of the foundation. 10 years after a candidate was awarded the prize (5 years if the candidate is a senior scientist), a return visit, an investigation and a hearing will take place to verify the candidate’s qualifications in morals and achievements. If the standards are met, the selection committee will recommend the candidate to PMO, which will submit the application for the naming of an asteroid to IAU.

After the naming ceremony, Mr. Zhang Rongqiao, Deputy Chief Designer of China's Lunar Exploration Project and Chief Designer of China’s first Mars exploration mission, delivered a lecture titled “Outlook and Challenges of Deep Space Exploration”. He introduced the history, significance, status quo, prospect and China’s goals of deep space exploration, and encouraged Beihangers to contribute their wisdom and efforts to the exploration of space.In the question and answer session, his detailed answers won warm applause from the audience.

Mr. Zhang gave a lecture

President Xu presented Mr. Zhang with the certificate of honor for delivering a lecture as part of the Beihang Lecture Program, an effort to bring high-level lectures to Beihang students


Reported by Song Chao

Photographed by Di Bailu and Han Siyu

Reviewed by Yu Min

Edited by Song Chao

Translated by Li Mingzhu

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