China News Service, Hong Kong, December 12 (Xinhua) -- Hong Kong has set off another aerospace boom and the development of innovation and technology is moving forward against the wind

China News Service reporter Xiang Luping

"Twenty years ago, I saw China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei, visit Hong Kong; Twenty years later, I saw four more groups of four astronauts visiting Hong Kong, which made me proud to see the development of China's aerospace industry over the years. Ms. Wong, a citizen who lives in the eastern district of Hong Kong Island, said.

The picture shows the delegation of the National Manned Space Program waving to the citizens along the sightseeing bus. Photo by Chinanews reporter Li Zhihua

Ms Wong's words echo the sentiments of many Hong Kong citizens. Astronauts Liu Boming, Wang Yaping, Chen Dong, and Zhang Lu, who were carrying out the construction of China's space station, held discussions in Hong Kong with primary and secondary school students, exchanged views with the scientific and technological and higher education circles, participated in a grand show from all walks of life in Hong Kong, and attended the China Manned Space Engineering Exhibition.

This craze can be supported by several figures: while listening to astronaut Chen Dong's sharing, a student recorded a full 7 pages of lecture notes; After the HKSAR Government announced the distribution of tickets for the "Hong Kong Welcome to the Grand Parade of China's Manned Space Engineering Delegation", 280 tickets were sold out in 10 minutes at one distribution point. In the past, the space show held in Hong Kong lasted only about 15 days, but this time it will last for two and a half months and is expected to attract 26,<> visitors.

With regard to the visit of the delegation of the National Manned Space Program, the enthusiasm of the people can be felt everywhere in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Chief Executive Li Jiachao said, as the old saying goes: It is a pleasure to have friends from afar. Today, Hong Kong has "friends from space", so why not just "happy"? We are excited, excited and immensely proud.

Wang Meiyi, a student at Ma Tau Chung Government Primary School (Hung Hom Bay), said that the country's aerospace technology has gone from scratch to become a powerful country in aerospace science and technology, which is a very important development. When I grow up, I will strive to become an astronaut because it is a matter of contributing to society and people.

In the continuous development of China's manned space program over the past 30 years, Hong Kong has shared its joy and actively participated in it. For example, the team of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University has developed space instruments for the Chang'e lunar exploration mission for many times, and participated in the Tianwen-<> Mars exploration mission. A soybean research project at the University of Chinese and Hong Kong was launched with the Tianzhou-<> and Shenzhou-<> spacecraft for experiments on China's space station. Last year, China's fourth batch of reserve astronauts was selected, and for the first time, payload experts were selected in Hong Kong and Macao, and Hong Kong's candidates successfully entered the final selection stage. In the words of Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Engineering Office, "we clearly feel that the participation of the Hong Kong and Macao SARs is becoming wider and deeper."

In 2003, China's first astronaut, Yang Liwei, visited Hong Kong and was warmly welcomed everywhere he went. If Hong Kong people still looked at China's first astronaut with a sense of curiosity at that time, then the visit to Hong Kong in 2012 by a delegation of the Shenzhou-<> manned rendezvous and docking mission sowed the "seeds" of the aerospace spirit for Hong Kong and stimulated young people's interest in aerospace science and technology. This time, Hong Kong primary and secondary school students saw their aerospace heroes and showed their joy.

In fact, the country has always vigorously supported the aerospace dreams of Hong Kong youth. Since 2009, the "Young Astronaut Experience Camp" co-organized by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, and organized by the China Astronaut Research and Training Center and the Hong Kong Space Museum, selects 30 secondary school students every year to participate in astronaut experience courses in Beijing and other places during the summer vacation. To date, more than 350 students have participated in the program. The country's aerospace industry has provided a bigger stage for Hong Kong people to display their talents, and Hong Kong people's aerospace dream has changed from being out of reach to being within reach.

The visit of the National Manned Space Project delegation to Hong Kong not only brought about a wave of space fever, but also introduced the country's achievements in aerospace science and technology, and strengthened Hong Kong people's recognition of the country. Zhou Wengang, a member of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and associate vice president of the Education University of Hong Kong, made a representative remark in an interview with a reporter from China News Service. He said that Hong Kong people, especially those from the education and technology sectors, are very welcoming to astronauts coming to Hong Kong, which will not only arouse everyone's love for the space industry, but also arouse the attention of the whole society to Hong Kong's development into an international innovation and technology hub. I believe that this is the deeper meaning of this event. (ENDS)