Liu Wang, one of China's leading astronauts, visited a high school in Beijing Friday and shared his experiences ahead of April 24 celebrations of the launch of the country's first satellite 46 years ago.
"Being an astronaut and exploring the space certainly made me feel proud, but before that, you must go through all the tough training and tests, and some unfortunately will sacrifice their lives," said Liu when recalling how he was selected.
Liu was one of the crew of Shenzhou-9 which conducted China's first manned space docking in June, 2012. He was speaking to over 200 students at the Capital Normal University High School.
Liu encouraged students to study science and technology well, to prepare for future aerospace studies.
"Space technology is based on practical technology in areas such as materials and energy. The advancement of space technology can promote the development of practical technology, that is why China has been allocating so many resources to space technology," said Liu.
Liu showed pictures of how astronauts eat, drink, sleep and conduct experiments under microgravity conditions.
What impressed the students most was the landscape of the earth that astronauts see over 300 km high in the sky. Liu said the oceans, continents, islands, rivers, lakes and the nightscape of cities on the earth can be clearly seen from the spaceship.
"Only when you leave the earth can you feel the beauty of the earth as the home for humans," said Liu, who advised students to conserve resources and protect the environment.
"I think I learned a lot and gained intuitive understanding of what we learned about space in class," said Shen Shuyi, an eighth grader from the high school.
"With the development of manned space flight, more people will have the change to go into the space. So get ready. The future of China's space research is in your hands," said Liu.