About 300 students, teachers and scientists in Hong Kong got a rare chance on Friday to hold a live call with three Chinese astronauts who are currently in outer space on board the Tiangong space station, and some leading Chinese aerospace experts in Beijing.
The three crew members – Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, answered questions about their experience in space. They also showed to the students how to conduct experiments, exercise, and drink water in a weightless environment.
In the live call, aerospace experts in Beijing also shared their insights and feelings of China's manned space exploration development, and answered questions regarding the construction, launch and operation of the country's space station.
The three Chinese astronauts on board the Shenzhen XII answered questions about their experience in space. They also showed to the students how to conduct experiments, exercise, and drink water in a weightless environment
The experts included Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut to enter outer space, and Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China's manned space program.
ALSO READ: Hong Kong youngsters to chat with astronauts on space station
The event was co-hosted by the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the HKSAR Government and the China Manned Space Agency.
In a speech at the event, Hao Chun, director of the China Manned Space Agency, expressed hopes that through this activity, it will allow Hong Kong's youngster to get to know the nation's aerospace development better and boost its science and technology development.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor noted that the nation has made historic progress in aerospace science this year, which is very exciting. She added that the scientists' spirit of serving people and facing up to difficulties offer lessons to all.
Tan Tieniu, deputy chief of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, said the event is a special gift of the central government to Hong Kong youth. With such care, he hopes Hong Kong youngsters will firmly stand with the nation and grow with it.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor speaks at "The Spirit of the Times Shines upon Hong Kong" Activity Series: "A Dialogue Between Space and Earth" in Hong Kong, Sept 3, 2021. (PHOTO/HKSAR GOVERNMENT)
Organizers started to collect questions from the public in late August. They selected 20 from 1,000 questions received. The most popular question was "How can Hong Kong teenagers become astronauts?" Other questions were on how to ensure the safety of astronauts in space, how astronauts protect themselves in space, what are their daily routines and whether the astronauts use Beijing time.
More similar interactive exchanges to boost space science and technology education in Hong Kong are expected to be held in future by the China Manned Space Agency.
READ MORE: HK people look forward to talk with astronauts on space station
The Shenzhou XII mission was launched on a Long March 2F carrier rocket that blasted off on June 17 from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China. The astronauts entered the Tiangong space station later that day after the two spacecraft docked with each other, becoming the first inhabitants of the station.
By now, both of the crew's two planned spacewalks have been successfully completed. They will continue performing scientific experiments and technological tests until mid-September, when they will return to Earth.
The three-month Shenzhou XII mission, the nation's seventh manned spaceflight, is part of the Tiangong program, which aims to complete a three-component station in a low-Earth orbit before the end of 2022.
Hong Kong students raise hands to ask Chinese astronauts on board the Tiangong space station questions during a real-time video dialogue with the astronauts, in Hong Kong, Sept 3, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
In June, some chief designers of the country's major space programs paid a visit to Hong Kong and held various communication activities with Hong Kong students.
In 2013, students from Hong Kong and Macao were among 330 primary and secondary school students in Beijing to attend a class conducted by Shenzhou X astronaut Wang Yaping in space. She also took questions live from students.