Students at the University of Hong Kong cheer during a real-time video dialogue with Shenzhou XIII crew members on board the Tiangong space station on Jan 1, 2022.(EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)
Hong Kong and Macao young people on Saturday expressed their admiration of the nation’s space development with a real-time space call with taikonauts in orbit, in the second such interaction between Chinese students and scientists.
The taikonauts’ holiday greetings was broadcast to 600 students at three ground venues — the University of Hong Kong, the University of Macau, and a studio at Beijing’s China Media Group — and also to the public via the internet.
The taikonauts’ holiday greetings was broadcast to 600 students at three ground venues — the University of Hong Kong, the University of Macau, and a studio at Beijing’s China Media Group — and also to the public via the internet
During the event, the three taikonauts — Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu — answered a total of six questions from students on the ground. The questions included how the taikonauts keep in good conditions in outer space, and what their new year expectations and wishes were.
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One of the approximately 300 young people attending the event in Hong Kong — Wang Yifan, 23, who is pursuing a master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine at the University of Hong Kong — said he was excited to have real-time communication with the taikonauts and was inspired by their sharing on how to tackle problems, which he could take a leaf from and study.
Wang also called the event a wonderful journey as it provided a rare opportunity for space fans like him to experience the country’s development in space engineering.
Zhao Chongyu, a 26-year-old postgraduate student of computer science at HKU, said he was proud and delighted at the same time to know more about the nation’s aerospace advancements through the live dialogue with the taikonauts.
Zhao said he was most impressed by the phrase “I’m feeling good” — which was repeated by all the three taikonauts when they were conducting extravehicular activities.
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“When I watched them say it on TV, it only struck me that the experiment is perfect. But after today’s dialogue, I realized that there were in fact many sacrifices and contributions from both the researchers and the taikonauts behind what we saw,” Zhao said.
Zhao added that the words of the taikonauts have greatly inspired him to adopt a hardworking spirit in the future career development.
Yu Hongjie, a third-year HKU doctoral student in nutritional epidemiology, expressed his gratitude and admiration for the taikonauts as their relentless efforts to pursue the space dream advanced the development of the nation’s space technology.
Yu's medical background made him curious about the life support system used in outer space. The 30-year-old student also wanted to know what taikonauts would expect from medical technology to help them do their job better.
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Yu also conveyed his best wishes for the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and his hope that the pandemic could be brought to an early end.
The three-member crew, which was sent into outer space by the Shenzhen 13 manned spaceship on Oct 16, is expected to be stationed at China’s Tiangong space station for six months, making it the longest manned space mission ever in China’s history.
On Dec 9, the crew beamed back a video lesson from the space station to over 1,400 young people from five places, including Beijing, Hong Kong, Macao, Sichuan province and the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. During the space course, the crew conducted experiments at the space station, which impressed the students.