About 300 students, teachers and scientists in Hong Kong got a rare chance on Friday to hold a live call with three Chinese astronauts who are currently in outer space on board the Shenzhen XII, and some leading Chinese aerospace experts in Beijing.
The three crew members - Nie Haisheng, Liu Boming and Tang Hongbo, answered questions about their experience in space. They also showed to the students how to conduct experiments, exercise, and drink water in a weightless environment.
In the live call, aerospace experts in Beijing also shared their insights and feelings of China's manned space exploration development, and answered questions regarding the construction, launch and operation of the country's space station.
The experts included Yang Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut to enter outer space, and Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China's manned space program.
The event was co-hosted by the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the HKSAR Government and the China Manned Space Agency.
In a speech at the event, Hao Chun, director of the China Manned Space Agency, expressed hopes that through this activity, it will allow Hong Kong's youngster to get to know the nation's aerospace development better and boost its science and technology development.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor noted that the nation has made historic progress in aerospace science this year, which is very exciting. She added that the scientists' spirit of serving people and facing up to difficulties offer lessons to all.
Tan Tieniu, deputy chief of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, said the event is a special gift of the central government to Hong Kong youth. With such care, he hopes Hong Kong youngsters will firmly stand with the nation and grow with it.
Organizers started to collect questions from the public in late August. They selected 20 from 1,000 questions received. The most popular question was "How can Hong Kong teenagers become astronauts?" Other questions were on how to ensure the safety of astronauts in space, how astronauts protect themselves in space, what are their daily routines and whether the astronauts use Beijing time.
More similar interactive exchanges to boost space science and technology education in Hong Kong are expected to be held in future by the China Manned Space Agency.
In June, some chief designers of the country's major space programs paid a visit to Hong Kong and held various communication activities with Hong Kong students.
In 2013, students from Hong Kong and Macao were among 330 primary and secondary school students in Beijing to attend a class conducted by Shenzhou X astronaut Wang Yaping in space. She also took questions live from students.