Three Chinese astronauts from the Tiangong space station had a video chat with students in Beijing, Hong Kong and Macau on Saturday, the first day of 2022.
The live space-Earth conference brought together around 500 young students at the three sites. The astronauts spoke of their dreams and aspirations for space.
Astronaut Zhai Zhigang, commander of the Shenzhou-13 mission, shared his experience and encouraged the students to overcome difficulties and dangers.
“No matter how far we fly, the homeland is forever our greatest support. Love for the country always inspires us in space flights,” Zhai said.
Astronaut Wang Yaping expressed the hope that the Tiangong live class could guide more young people to look at the stars and plant the seeds of “the love of science, the pursuit of dreams and the exploration of the world. ‘unknown’ in their hearts.
Wang was awarded the title of China’s first space professor after giving a televised science lecture during the Shenzhou-10 space mission in June 2013. During the Shenzhou-13 mission, she and the other two crew members were also gave a lecture in Tiangong last month.
As China’s national space laboratory, the Tiangong space station is expected to play a unique role in encouraging the public to explore space and advance the scientific spirit.
“Despite the weightlessness in space, we feel firmly anchored in our hearts,” said astronaut Ye Guangfu, a newcomer to space.
Tan Zuwei, a student at the School of Aerospace Engineering at Tsinghua University, felt deeply impressed by the astronauts’ passion for their dreams and the space cause. He said he was inspired by their spirit and would contribute to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.
Zhou Ting, a medical student at the University of Hong Kong, felt lucky to ask the astronauts her question. “As a future doctor, I faced tough studies and work, and sometimes thought about giving up. But the astronauts gave me the courage to keep going.”
The activity, co-hosted by the Hong Kong government, the Macao government, the Central People’s Government Liaison Office in Hong Kong, the Central People’s Government Liaison Office in Macau, the Chinese Manned Space Agency and China Media Group, has been live.
The three astronauts went to space aboard the Shenzhou-13 spacecraft and entered the space station on October 16, embarking on the country’s longest crewed mission to build the space station.
According to the plan, China will complete construction of the space station by 2022.