Chinese astronauts on board the Tiangong space station hold a real-time video dialogue with Hong Kong students on Sept 3, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Hong Kong students’ “incredible” and “surreal” video call with Chinese astronauts in outer space on Friday has made a big impression with the young who are curious about the mysteries of the universe, motivating them to learn more.
In a Friday seminar in Hong Kong, three crew members of the spacecraft Shenzhou 12, who are now in the country’s Tiangong space station, took questions from students in a live call, sharing stories about their work and life in the outer space. Some aerospace experts in Beijing also introduced the nation’s space exploration development to the Hong Kong audience in a video chat.
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Timothy Wong, also an aerospace engineering undergraduate student of the HKUST, said the most “impressive” and “surreal” part of the event was talking with astronauts on the space station in real time, waving to astronauts and seeing them wave back
Marco Clark, a host of the event, who is also an aerospace engineering student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), said that this was an “incredible” opportunity the country offered to Hong Kong. It is also an incredible moment for young students who have a passion for the subject to capture this opportunity and work to become the next generation of taikonauts, he said.
Clark said it was an honor for him to offer assistance and participate in the event as a host, adding that he looks forward to some involvement in the area in the future and providing some insights.
Timothy Wong, also an aerospace engineering undergraduate student of the HKUST, said the most “impressive” and “surreal” part of the event was talking with astronauts on the space station in real time, waving to astronauts and seeing them wave back. He said it was a rare chance for all Hong Kong residents to witness the moment.
Tom Mok Kwan-pui, a doctoral student from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, said that he treasured such a rare opportunity to talk with astronauts and industrial experts. Their experience with overcoming difficulties during missions also gave him encouragement in his own daily work, Mok said.
Hong Kong students raise their hands to ask leading Chinese aerospace experts in Beijing questions during a seminar held via video link in Hong Kong, Sept 3, 2021. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Leo Yeung, 11, was excited to be one of only two students from his school to attend the event. Yeung, who idolizes the taikonauts, hoped that Hong Kong can breed more aerospace professionals as the nation needs such talents.
Zhang Wenqiang, a student from Pui Kiu Middle School, thanked astronauts’ service to the country. The boy said he was inspired by the taikonauts to contribute to the country in the future.
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Feeling excited at the scene, Ng Ka-wo, a STEM development master from the Hong Kong Taoist Association the Yuen Yuen Institute No 3 Secondary School, said he hopes that the call will not only give the students a sense of the nation’s aerospace development, but also be conducive for students to cultivate a sense of national identity.
Ng said he hopes that the SAR government will allocate more resources to mathematics, physics and chemistry so that Hong Kong can contribute to the nation’s science and technology development.