Press Releases in Hong Kong

Nation’s space feat wins praise from HK youth

In a real-time video chat, the astronauts in the Tiangong space station answered questions from students at the University of Hong Kong on Jan 1, 2022. (EDMOND TANG / CHINA DAILY)

Hong Kong young people expressed their admiration of the nation’s space development after they participated in a real-time space call on Saturday with taikonauts in orbit, in the second such interaction between Chinese students and scientists.

The taikonauts’ holiday greetings were 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 — took six questions from students on the ground. The questions included how the taikonauts have been keeping themselves in good condition in outer space, as well as their expectations and wishes for the new year.

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One of the approximately 300 young people who attended 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 how they have been tackling their problems, which he could take a leaf from and study.

When I watched them say it on TV, it only struck me that the experiment is perfect. But after today’s dialogue, I realized there were, in fact, many sacrifices and contributions from both the researchers and the taikonauts behind what we saw.

Zhao Chongyu, a 26-year-old postgraduate student in computer science at HKU

Wang 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 in computer science at HKU, said he was proud and delighted to know more about the nation’s aerospace advancements through the live dialogue with the taikonauts.

He 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.

“When I watched them say it on TV, it only struck me that the experiment is perfect. But after today’s dialogue, I realized 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 taikonauts’ words have greatly inspired him to adopt a hardworking spirit in his 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.

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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.

The three crew members, who were sent into outer space by the Shenzhou XIII manned spaceship on Oct 16, are expected to be stationed at China’s Tiangong space station for six months, making it the longest ever manned space mission in China’s history.

The crew beamed back a video lesson from the space station on Dec 9 to more than 1,400 young people in 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.

Contact the writers at shumanchen@chinadailyhk.com