Chinese astronauts kindle youth dream of space exploration
A delegation of China's manned space program has concluded a six-day visit to Hong Kong and Macao, during which the Chinese astronauts inspired local young people to pursue a dream of space exploration in the interactions.
The delegation came to the two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) in southern China at the invitation of the SAR governments, 11 years after the last such visit.
During their stay from Nov. 28 to Dec. 3, the delegation visited a number of primary and secondary schools and two universities in Hong Kong, and held a special lecture in Macao, meeting with thousands of students in the two cities.
"The Chinese space station is like a home for the motherland in space," Shenzhou-14 astronaut Chen Dong said, who expects to see representatives from Hong Kong and Macao at the space station to make China's home in space more lively and happy.
Hong Kong middle school student Shum Tze-man was a bit carried away by the presence of the astronauts at a variety show held on Nov. 29. In her eyes, "patriotism" is the word to best characterize space heroes.
"The motherland's space industry has grown from scratch and now become world-leading. I'm proud of our nation and this makes me more obsessed with the starry sky," Shum said.
In 1992, China's manned space program was formally established and began to be implemented. In 2022, the construction of the Chinese space station was fully completed.
John Lee, chief executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), said the delegation told the story of the development of China's manned space program, which made Hong Kong people to feel proud of the country's extraordinary achievements in aerospace technology.
"The reports of space experts involved a lot of professional knowledge in physics and astronomy, some of which were beyond my current learning scope, but it made me more eager to explore the universe," a student surnamed Li from Lingnan Middle School in Macao said.
"I am sure our young students treasured this opportunity a lot," Ho Iat Seng, chief executive of the Macao SAR, said the delegation's visit demonstrated the country's support for the science and technology education of young students in Macao, which is of great significance.
Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency, who led the delegation of China's manned space program, said that all sectors in Hong Kong and Macao have actively participated in the recruitment of the payload specialists as part of the country's fourth batch of reserve astronauts, as well as in the solicitation of scientific and application projects for the space station.
Lin expressed the hope that astronauts from Hong Kong and Macao will soon be seen stationed in the space station of the motherland, and the payloads designed by the science and education sectors of Hong Kong and Macao carry out experiments in the space station.