LCQ8: Promoting aerospace endeavours of country
There are views that the country's recruitment of payload specialists in Hong Kong for aerospace endeavours has provided opportunities for Hong Kong young people to realise their space aspiration with the strong support of the motherland; however, the exhibitions of the Hong Kong Space Museum have, over the years, been showcasing the space technology achievements of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States and other countries by way of a timeline starting from the 1950s, and there is a lack of education on the aerospace technology of the country. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the current number of aerospace education venues in Hong Kong under the management of the Government; whether the Government has plans to step up publicity and promotion work on the aerospace technology of the country at such venues;
(2) whether the Government will consolidate the existing exhibitions on aerospace technology at the Hong Kong Science Museum and the Hong Kong Space Museum and set up thematic galleries to enhance the promotion work of the aerospace history and technology of the country, thereby enabling the general public to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the aerospace development of the country; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) given that the report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China proposes to expedite the building of an aerospace power, whether the Government has plans to collaborate with the China National Space Administration in providing opportunities for Hong Kong young people to make contributions to the aerospace endeavours of the country, thereby inspiring their patriotic sentiment; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
In recent years, the Chinese space programme has made remarkable achievements. The report to the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China further proposed the target of expediting the building of an aerospace power. Last year, the country opened the recruitment of payload specialists in Hong Kong for the first time. This signifies that the country encourages Hong Kong people, especially the youth, to contribute to the country's development.
Having summarised the relevant works of the Culture, Sports and Tourism Bureau and the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau, our consolidated reply to various parts of the question is as follows:
The Hong Kong Space Museum has recently organised a lecture series on "Chinese Aerospace Development". Its permanent exhibition also showcases exhibits to introduce the aerospace technologies of the country, including the training spacesuit of the first astronaut of the country, Yang Liwei. To promote the extraordinary achievements of the aerospace technologies of the country, the museum is now planning to introduce a model of the Zhurong Mars Rover which landed on Mars in 2021. The Hong Kong Science Museum also organised special exhibitions on the national manned space programme from time to time, such as the "China's First Spacewalk Mission" in 2008 and the "China's Lunar Exploration Programme" in 2014, etc. It is planning to establish an exhibition gallery dedicated to introducing aerospace technologies of the country upon the completion of its expansion project.
The Government has been dedicated to promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education to dovetail with the national strategy of invigorating the country through science and education, foster new growth drivers and new strengths, and nurture future talents for the country and Hong Kong. Apart from the curriculum, taking advantage of the recruitment of payload specialists in Hong Kong for the first time by the country, the Government has co-operated with different organisations to hold various activities, including producing television programmes, holding special seminars and expositions, etc, with a view to deepening Hong Kong citizens' understanding of the development and achievements of the aerospace technologies of the country, as well as Hong Kong's participation and contribution to the national space programme. These will also cultivate the younger generation's interest in astronomy and space technology, and enhance their national awareness and national identity.
In fact, the Government has been actively co-operating with relevant authorities in the Mainland over the years to provide young people of Hong Kong with opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of the aerospace endeavours of the country, so as to strengthen their sense of responsibility for national development and enhance their patriotism. For example, in June 2021, an aerospace technology delegation, including a number of eminent scientists, was arranged by the country to visit Hong Kong. During their stay in the city, they visited a number of schools to speak with students on the development journey and the latest situation of the country's aerospace endeavours. In September 2021, several Hong Kong scientific researchers and students had an invaluable opportunity to have a real-time online chat with the three astronauts while they were in space. The astronauts cordially answered the questions raised by the students at the activity venue. The event received an overwhelming response from the community.
Besides, the Hong Kong Space Museum has been organising the Young Astronaut Training Camp since 2009. The Camp selects 30 local secondary school students during summer holiday each time to visit key aerospace facilities in Beijing and the Xichang/Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre, etc, and undergo aerospace traininng programme which included undergoing simulated astronaut training and meeting with aerospace specialists and astronauts, etc, in order to understand the achievements of aerospace technology development of the country.
The Government will continue to encourage and support young people to equip themselves, so that they can contribute to the country's aerospace endeavours.
Ends/Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Issued at HKT 14:35
Issued at HKT 14:35