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China's manned space delegation interacts with youth in Macao

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-12-03 07:34

A delegation of China's manned space program interacts with youth in Macao, Dec 2, 2023. [Photo/Xinhua]

MACAO -- "Can near-sighted people become astronauts?" "What if astronauts get sick in space?" "Do astronauts feel hot or cold when they are engaged in extravehicular activities?"

These were among a number of questions raised by enthusiastic young people in China's Macao Special Administrative Region on Saturday when they had the chance to meet face in face with the country's astronauts.

The astronauts are members of a delegation of China's manned space program who are on a six-day visit to Hong Kong and Macao from Tuesday to Sunday at the invitation of the Hong Kong SAR government and the Macao SAR government. They left Hong Kong and arrived in Macao on Friday.

Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency who led the delegation, told Macao students at a public lecture that an astronaut must have sound physical and mental conditions, professional knowledge and always be able to control emotions, encouraging Macao students to study hard and do more physical exercises in order to pursue space dreams.

Shenzhou XIII astronaut Wang Yaping, who is well known among the audience because she had given lessons in space to students on earth for twice in 10 years, said she was so pleased to know that some students who attended her lesson a decade ago had become engaged in the space missions now.

"If there is another chance, I really hope to be able to give yet another lesson in space to share its beauties and wonders," she said.

Shenzhou XV astronaut Zhang Lu shared details of arduous training for long hours with his own body and the spacesuit weighing over 200 kg and conducting extravehicular activities as long as 10 hours without eating, calling for students who have passions for space to join the cause.

Shenzhou XII astronaut Liu Boming said he was able to maintain a sound physical condition while on duty because he was well-prepared. "Remote monitoring and control from the ground were also important," he added.

The astronauts also introduced China's space program development strategies, the construction of China's space station and the manned lunar missions, as well as details of life in space.

Hung Ling Ming, a PhD student at the University of Macao, said he was thrilled to learn from the astronauts the spirit of science and the manned space program. "If possible, I hope to make contributions to our country's space cause," he said.

Sung Gaai Hin, a senior high school student at the Lingnan Middle School who has enjoyed watching rocket launches since childhood, said both he and his classmates have been very proud whenever China makes achievements in its space program.

Pong Sam, a student of the City University of Macao, said he was deeply impressed by the tough training that astronauts have to go through. When asked if he would consider joining the space cause, his answer was "Certainly!"

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