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Young astronauts to leave for Beijing on Friday for eight days' training (with photos)

     Thirty secondary students taking part in the Young Astronaut Training Camp attended their send-off ceremony at the Hong Kong Space Museum today (July 24). They will set off for Beijing this Friday (July 26) for an eight-day training trip to learn about and experience the formal training of astronauts in China.

     The training camp is jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD), the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, the China Astronaut Research and Training Center and the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, and co-organised by the Beijing-Hong Kong Academic Exchange Centre.

     Officiating at the ceremony were the acting Director of Leisure and Cultural Services, Mr Bobby Cheng; the Deputy Director General of the Education, Science and Technology Department of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Mr Mo Jinqiang; the Chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, Dr Charles Yeung; the Vice-President of the Beijing-Hong Kong Academic Exchange Centre, Mr Kwok Ming-wa; and the Deputy Director of Leisure and Cultural Services (Culture), Ms Cynthia Liu.

     Mr Cheng said at the ceremony that the Young Astronaut Training Camp, which aims to arouse the interest of the new generation in astronomy and space science and deepen teenagers' understanding of China's space technology and culture, is being held for the fifth time. The candidates are not only given an opportunity to experience astronauts' tough training, but also gain the chance to meet eminent Chinese astronauts such as Mr Yang Liwei and other Chinese space experts. Mr Cheng said he believes the trip would inspire the students and broaden their horizons, and thus benefit them in their future development.

     Mr Cheng said, "The development of China's space technology has made a great leap in recent years. Shenzhou-10, launched in June, carried three astronauts, Mr Nie Haisheng, Mr Zhang Xiaoguang and Ms Wang Yaping, into space, where they successfully carried out a rendezvous and docking with Tiangong-1 and performed an array of science experiments. During the space trip, Ms Wang also broadcast a lecture to students on Earth, establishing a milestone in China's space technology.

     "Since the first astronaut, Mr Yang Liwei, was sent into space in 2003, China has sent 10 astronauts into space in 10 years. The achievement symbolises the flourishing development of the space technology in China."

     This year's Young Astronaut Training Camp started recruitment in May and received an overwhelming response from schools. A total of 231 students nominated by 145 schools applied for the training camp. After three rounds of selection, 30 students were chosen to be young astronauts. The assessment areas included knowledge in astronomy and space science, the candidates' fitness, analytical skills and communication ability.

     The Young Astronaut Training Camp will take place from July 26 to August 2. Participants will visit major space facilities including the China Academy of Space Technology, the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Center, the National Astronomical Observatories, the Chinese Aviation Museum and the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center. They will be taught basic space science and technology and undergo astronaut training, including donning and taking off a spacesuit, space-kitchen science, psychological training, escape and survival training and blood redistribution adaptability training. After completion of the training, they will take an examination and be presented with certificates.

     The Young Astronaut Training Camp is sponsored by the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce.

     For details of the training camp, please visit the webpage on the Hong Kong Space Museum's website at (Chinese only) or call 2734 2711.

Ends/Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:28


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