Former Chinese astronaut Jing Haipeng and his Swiss counterpart Claude Nicollier held an online exchange with university students from the two countries on Thursday, as part of a Sino-Swiss space science meeting aiming to boost cooperation.
Jing Haipeng, head of China's Astronaut Corps, was the first Chinese astronaut to have flown on three missions in crewed spacecrafts Shenzhou 7, Shenzhou 9 and Shenzhou 11, while Claude Nicollier was the first Swiss astronaut to have flown on four space shuttle missions, including two servicing missions to the Hubble Space Telescope.
The two shared their rich experience in space flight and talked about their understanding and feelings of space exploration, unveiling the mystery of space flight and cosmic exploration for the participants.
They also shared their impressive missions and space experiments while interacting with Chinese and Swiss university students online, inspiring and motivating young students to take passion in science, pursue their dreams and explore the unknown.
The interaction was part of the Sino-Swiss Space Science and Technology Cooperation Online Meeting, which was co-sponsored by China Science and Technology Exchange Center and the Swiss Museum of Transport, and gathered more than 100 participants from universities, research institutions, exchange promotion agencies and university students from both countries.
The two sides also signed a memorandum to set up a stable exchange and cooperation mechanism, build a platform for the exchange of scientific research institutions and personnel, and encourage more entities of scientific research and innovation to participate in Sino-Swiss cooperation.
"I think that Chinese space industry has big good programs and can bring the whole world into the next level. I think we're still missing some pieces and bits and good collaboration with the Chinese," said Martin Butikofer, director of the Swiss Museum of Transport.
"I'm really pleased and impressed about Chinese engineering and way of thinking ... we are just human beings on the same blue planet and we have to learn from each other and make progress in this direction (of exchange of cooperation)," he added.