BEIJING, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) — Three Chinese astronauts in space station Tiangong held a video chat with students in Beijing, Hong Kong and Macao Saturday afternoon, the first day of 2022.
The live space-Earth talk was attended by around 500 young students at the three venues. The astronauts shared their space dream and aspirations.
Astronaut Zhai Zhigang, the commander of the Shenzhou-13 mission, shared his experience with the young people and encouraged them to overcome difficulties and dangers.
“No matter how far we fly, the motherland is forever our strongest supporter. Love for the country always inspires us in space flights,” Zhai said.
Astronaut Wang Yaping expressed hope that the live class from Tiangong could guide more young people to look up at the stars and plant the seeds of “loving science, pursuing dreams and exploring the unknown” in their hearts.
Wang earned the title of China’s first space teacher after delivering a televised science lecture during the Shenzhou-10 space mission in June 2013. While in the Shenzhou-13 mission, she and the other two crew members also gave a lecture in Tiangong in December 2021.
As China’s national space laboratory, the space station Tiangong is expected to play a unique role in encouraging the public, especially the youth, to explore space and carry forward the scientific spirit.
“Despite being weightless in space, we feel firmly grounded at heart,” said astronaut Ye Guangfu, a newcomer to space.
With the support of space professionals, painstaking trainings, and valuable experience from aerospace predecessors, Ye said that they have the confidence, determination and ability to accomplish the mission.
During the video talk, the trio also showed the people on the ground around a painting exhibition in the space station. Around 20 paintings drawn by teenagers from central and western China were displayed in the exhibition.
The activity, co-hosted by the Hong Kong SAR government, the Macao SAR government, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong SAR, the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Macao SAR, the China Manned Space Agency and the China Media Group, was broadcast live.
The three astronauts went into space onboard the Shenzhou-13 spaceship and entered the space station on Oct. 16, embarking on the country’s longest crewed mission for space station construction.