Thirty local secondary school students selected to join the Young Astronaut Training Camp have returned from their seven-day training trip and today (August 12) they enthusiastically shared their thoughts on the experience in a sharing session held at the Hong Kong Space Museum. The training camp, co-ordinated by the Hong Kong Space Museum, was jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the China Astronaut Research and Training Center and the Xichang Satellite Launch Center, and co-organised by the Beijing-Hong Kong Academic Exchange Centre.
Running from August 2 to 8, the Young Astronaut Training Camp offered the students a comprehensive training programme in Beijing and Xichang. They were excited to meet six Chinese astronauts, namely Yang Liwei, Nie Haisheng, Fei Junlong, Zhai Zhigang, Liu Boming and Jing Haipeng, and shared in their training and working experiences. Another big surprise that especially thrilled the students was the arrangement to have a preview of the Chinese Changzheng-3B rocket, which had its first launch in the small hours this morning.
"We could learn in depth about the regular training programmes designed for Chinese astronauts in Beijing, which has greatly broadened our horizons of knowledge. The training camp really gave us invaluable and unforgettable learning experiences," a participating student said at the sharing session.
The students arrived in Beijing on August 2, and began their foray into space science from August 3 onwards. They first took part in a model rocket-making course in which they launched their own model rockets. In the afternoon, they visited the China Astronaut Research and Training Center to learn more about the training facilities for manned spaceflight, such as the training simulator for the Shenzhou spacecraft and the Tiangong 1 space laboratory, the ergonomics evaluation of the extravehicular spacesuit, the centrifuge and the weightlessness simulation tank. Afterwards, they visited the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center, where the telemetry simulation of Tiangong 1 was taking place. In the evening, Professor Sun Jinyun from the China Astronaut Research and Training Center gave a lecture on manned spaceflight.
The young astronauts began to get a taste of the training programmes designed for Chinese astronauts on the third day of the training camp (August 4). After the instructors' introduction on astronaut training, the students tried donning and taking off a spacesuit, underwent blood redistribution training, tried out the swivel chair and experienced escape survival training.
The young astronauts were required to show what they had learnt in an examination. Finally they visited two important National Astronomical Observatories, the Xilong and Miyun Observing Stations, on the fourth day (August 5).
The young astronauts went to Xichang on the fifth and sixth days (August 6 and 7) to participate in one of the highlights of the training programme - visiting the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. They saw the giant launch complexes and gained an understanding of the massive workloads involved in a rocket launch. Afterwards, they also visited other cultural spots in Xichang.
The young astronauts boarded a flight from Chengdu and returned to Hong Kong on August 8.
All the training programmes given to the students were parts of the regular training designed for Chinese astronauts. To ensure their physical well-being, the students were given medical checks regularly during the training period.
The Young Astronaut Training Camp was sponsored by the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce.
Ends/Friday, August 12, 2011
Having been given the opportunity to pose with China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei, it is no wonder the young astronauts were so excited.
The young astronauts were privileged to come within a close distance of the then soon-to-be-launched Changzheng-3B rocket launcher during their visit to the Xichang Satellite Launch Center.
Guests attending the sharing session held today (August 12) (front row from left): Senior Administrative Assistant, Beijing-Hong Kong Academic Exchange Centre, Ms Ruby Chung; the Vice-Chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Dr Chan Yau-nam; and the Assistant Curator of the Hong Kong Space Museum, Mr Lee Wai-kwan, and the six young astronauts who won the Outstanding Performance Award. They are (second row from left) Szeto Kong-chiu, Chan Ka-yee, Sung Ping-ping, Yang Ting, Lam Ka-yu and Tsui Sai-hang.
Six young astronauts who were selected as Distinguished Young Astronauts. They are (from left) Choy Wing-yee, Ng Tip-yee, Chan Ka-yee, Arise Cheung, Chau Chiu-yeung and Shek Ngai-chun.
Using the 14-metre-high Escape Tower was definitely one of the most exciting activities of the Young Astronaut Training Camp.