A total of 40 candidates from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) have passed the preliminary screening for payload specialists that could possibly join China's future space missions, an official said Sunday.
Sun Dong, secretary for innovation, technology and industry of the HKSAR government, said during a press briefing that the HKSAR government has submitted the applications of the qualified candidates to mainland officials, and will closely work together with mainland authorities in subsequent selection process.
Sun said that the 40 candidates, consisting of 20 males and 20 females, were chosen strictly according to the criteria set by the country, which took into account of factors including physical fitness, educational level, professional experiences as well as their passion for space missions.
Sun said he had personally met with all 40 candidates and got to know their personalities and career plans, and was impressed by their professionalism and enthusiasm for space missions.
Payload specialists are professional scientific researchers who are mainly responsible for conducting aerospace experiments or research, operating space laboratory equipment, and managing daily operations of space stations with other astronauts.
It is the first time that China recruits candidates for payload specialists in the HKSAR.