Five oclock in the morning.
Harbin International Airport.
A bright silver plane slowly landed on the runway.
Lu Zhou looked at the city covered in the morning mist as he said, This is my first time being up north.
Wang Peng looked outside the window and said, Its my second time.
Last time was around six years ago, we went to the border for a mission. On the way there, we stayed here for a day and a half.
Theres a mission up north?
There are missions everywhere.
Lu Zhou nodded and didnt ask what kind of mission it was.
First of all, Wang Peng probably wouldnt tell him, and secondly, it didnt have anything to do with him, so he wasnt interested in knowing.
After Lu Zhou got off the plane, a silver Buick was parked at the entrance. A man dressed in casual clothing got out of the car and opened the door for Lu Zhou. They drove to a hotel near the Harbin Institute of Technology.
This time, Wang Peng wasnt the one driving. Instead, the driver was from the State Administration for National Defense.
Unlike the conference in Beijing last time, the participants of this aerospace conference all had high statuses.
Because some of the content discussed at the conference was temporarily confidential to the outside world, both the identities of the participants and details of the conference were strictly confidential.
Therefore, Lu Zhous excuse for coming to Harbin was to give an academic lecture at the Harbin Institute of Technology.
After they arrived at the hotel, two men, who were waiting at the hotel entrance, walked up to greet them.
One of them smiled and reached out his right hand.
Professor Lu, long time no see!
Lu Zhou shook his hand and smiled.
Long time no see, Director Li.
Director Li looked at the old man standing next to him and began to introduce him.
Please allow me to introduce the principal of Harbin Institute of Technology, Academician Zou Yu.
Pleasure to meet you.
Its my pleasure. Academician Zou shook Lu Zhous hand and said, Ive heard many rumors about how young Professor Lu is, I guess the rumors are true!
Youre too kind.
Director Li smiled and said, Okay, enough small talk. You just got off the plane, so you didnt eat breakfast yet, right? We havent eaten either, so lets grab a bite at the hotel?
The group of people quickly reached a consensus.
Especially Lu Zhou.
He spent the night on the plane and didnt sleep well, and he had been starving this whole time.
Soon, breakfast was ready.
A bowl of steaming lamb soup was served first, followed by a flatbread filled with kebab meat. Even though they were simple dishes, it was surprisingly delicious. Especially the bowl of lamb soup. When Lu Zhou took a sip, he felt his whole body warming up. Even though he was way up north, he didnt feel cold anymore.
The group of people sat at the table, eating and chatting. Soon, they began to talk about academic matters.
During their conversation, Lu Zhou heard that Academician Zou was studying ceramic composite materials and bio-composite materials. Academician Zou was a big name in the materials science field. When Lu Zhou heard about bio-composite materials, a light bulb went off in his head.
Bio-composite materials? Lu Zhou smiled and asked, Which field are you in?
Academician Zou smiled and said, Me? Im mainly concerned about hydroxyapatite and titanium.
Hydroxyapatite and titanium composite materials?
Lu Zhou had a look of interest on his face.
Even though he hadnt researched this field extensively, he had a certain amount of understanding.
Hydroxyapatite and titanium composite materials were some of the more advanced research directions in the field of materials science. They were generally regarded as the next-generation material for artificial bones. If the research on this technology was successful, it would have a huge impact on industries such as medical care and bionic machinery.
We are now working with Aurora University to develop a bionic artificial bone that can replace human bones, in which it can be controlled by neural electrical signals. If this technology becomes a success, the problem of mutilation will disappear.
Lu Zhou: Controlling them using neural electrical signals? Thats not easy, right?
Academician Zou nodded and said, Of course Professor Lu is able to instantly recognize the most important problem. In fact, the biggest problem we are now facing is the acquisition and feedback of neural signals. Especially for the feedback part, its not easy to trick the brain by using simulated neural signals.
This sounds interesting.
However, Lu Zhou wasnt thinking of bionic prosthetics; he was thinking about something else.
Academician Zou said with a smile, It is interesting. If youre interested, you can come to visit our laboratory; Ill give you a tour.
Lu Zhou: Ill probably go after the moon landing bidding conference is over, thanks in advance.
Academician Zou jokingly said, Youre welcome. If you become interested, youll probably end up helping us big time.
Whenever someone couldnt solve a problem, the easiest way to solve that problem was to get Professor Lu interested in it.
This saying, which was originally spread within the mathematics world, had now spread to all corners of academia
The beginning of November.
The moon landing project bidding conference was held in a low-key manner at the auditorium of Harbin Institute of Technology.
After presenting the invitation letter and his ID card to the staff at the door, Lu Zhou handed in his electronic devices. He followed the reception staff into the venue and sat down at his seat, which was marked with his name.
In addition to the inspection at the venue entrance, there would also be a second inspection 15 minutes before the conference would begin. Other than checking the identities of the attendees, they would also check if any electronic devices were sneaked through.
After all of the inspections were done, it was ten oclock in the morning.
After someone from the State Administration for National Defense came to read the confidential agreement, a high-ranking official from the State Administration for National Defense announced the start of the bidding conference.
This bidding conference was different from the other project bidding conferences. The buyer didnt explain their specific requirements for the project. Instead, it was the bidder who had to demonstrate their own technological capabilities.
Of course, the demonstrations were in the form of PowerPoint presentations. Other than some sensitive data, the contents of the PowerPoint presentations were non-technical.
In fact, the two Chinese aerospace giants were quite strong. Even though they were far from being aerospace leaders of the world, they still presented a lot of dazzling technology.
For example, the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation demonstrated a 500-ton liquid oxygen kerosene engine.
Even though the technology was only demonstrated on a PowerPoint presentation, according to the statements made by experts appointed by the Aerospace Corporation, the high-powered turbopump, high-flow gas generator, high-pressure low-temperature valve, and high-precision flow regulator had all been developed. Prototypes had also been produced and were currently in the testing phase.
On the other hand, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation also showed its strengths. They demonstrated the latest high-temperature and wear-resistant ceramic coating technology, which solved a key technical problem of liquid oxygen and kerosene dynamic sealing under high-speed and heavy-load conditions. This technology could be applied to the 120-ton liquid oxygen kerosene high-pressure turbopump engine. This can improve the performance and safety of the rocket engine.
Finally, after the technical director from the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation completed their demonstration, it was Star Sky Technologys turn.
Lu Zhou walked on stage and began to show the PowerPoint presentation that he prepared a week ago. He showed them the latest ion thruster system developed by Star Sky Technology.
The second he flipped to the second page of the PowerPoint presentation.
The entire auditorium fell silent