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Macau students and Chinese astronauts take offline 'space classes'
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Macau students and Chinese astronauts take offline 'space classes'

"One, two, three!" An email was sent into space at the Macao Science Center on 4th of Dec, witnessed by nearly 200 local students.

The email was sent by Wang Yaping, a crew member for China's Shenzhou-13 space mission and the first woman astronaut who has entered China's space station, together with Wong Ging Pui, a senior high school student from Tong Nam Middle School in the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) who attended Wang's space class online two years ago.

"Can astronauts surf on the internet and play video games? Can you watch TV? Can we send emails to you while you are in space?" These were the questions Wong had the chance to ask Wang in December 2021 on behalf of Macao students when she was broadcasting a live lecture in space to students on Earth.

Now Wong was excited to meet Wang in person and experience how to send an email into space using the Beidou Navigation Satellite System.

"I made it!" said Wong. He said Wang has inspired him by her own stories and personally encouraged him to keep studying hard.

"I hope to become a person like her whose life is meaningful to both the society and the country," he said.

Known for being a "space teacher," Wang said she was very happy to be able to interact with the students face to face.

"I'm very glad to see how they have grown," she said, encouraging the young people to explore the unknown and break limits on the way to realizing their dreams.

Wang is a member of a delegation of China's manned space program on a six-day visit through Sunday to Hong Kong and Macao SARs at the invitation of the SAR governments.

While at the Macao Science Center, the delegation was briefed on popular science education plans for Macao students. The astronauts gave their thumbs up when learning that junior high school students in Macao have lessons on human exploration of the universe and China's space technology development.

The delegation also visited an ongoing exhibition of China's achievements in space exploration and navigation held at the Center, including moon samples brought back by the Chang'e 5 lunar mission, models of rockets and "Macao Science 1" space exploration satellites jointly developed by the mainland and Macao.

The students waved national flags to say goodbye to the astronauts when they left the Center.

"Today's tour marks a perfect conclusion to our visit to Macao," said Lin Xiqiang, deputy director of the China Manned Space Agency who led the delegation.

"We hope to help Macao compatriots know more about China's manned space program, inspire the local young people to explore science and space, and see increased participation of Macao in the country's future space programs," said Lin. 

XinhuaShen Yi

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