Sci-tech achievements ignite space exploration dream among young Chinese -Xinhua

Students attend a live streamed popular science lecture given by Chinese astronauts from the Tiangong Space Station at the China Science and Technology Museum in Beijing, March 23, 2022. (Source: Xinhua/Guo Zhongzheng)

TAIYUAN, Sept. 24 (Xinhuanet) — Sun Lan has been a space enthusiast since childhood and has learned a lot about it from books, but there were still many unsolved questions for the 16-year-old college student.

Luckily, she found answers to most of her questions at a lecture given last week by Shen Liping, former deputy chief engineer of China’s manned space program.

In his speech at Jiao Cheng No. 1 Middle School in Jiaocheng County, north China’s Shanxi Province, Shen shed light on the history of the country’s manned space program and its future projects, and answered students’ questions.

“I was touched by the spirit of scientists and astronauts after learning about aerospace science at the lecture. This is a lecture I will benefit from for the rest of my life,” Sun said.

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The lecture was one of the China Space Research Society’s initiatives to promote science in Shanxi Province. Top scientists and experts in the field of space science will present a series of lectures for students from eight schools this month.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of China’s manned space program. China’s aerospace industry has made breakthroughs in spacecraft launches and astronaut spacewalks, and is striving for large-scale space science experiments.

The achievements have excited Chinese youth and encouraged them to pursue their space dreams.

After graduating, 26-year-old Shi Yurong joined the National Space Science Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to work on space environment prediction.

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Besides conducting scientific research on space environment monitoring and forecasting, her team is also responsible for space environment monitoring for many major space missions in China.

“As a kid I loved watching rocket launches on TV and now I get to contribute to space science. I feel fortunate and honored,” Shi said, adding that the promotion and popularization of space science has encouraged her to pursue a career in the related field.

“I think the development of science and technology in a country depends on generations of young people learning about science, falling in love with it, and devoting themselves to the field,” Shi added.

Space science is now more accessible to Chinese teenagers. Yang Liwei, China’s first space traveler, led an aerospace science class for teenagers at the China Science and Technology Museum this month on National Science Diffusion Day. More than 280,000 teenagers followed the course via live broadcast.

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Zhihu, a Quora-like knowledge platform in China, recently launched a space science initiative. A number of aerospace experts shared space-related knowledge and the country’s aerospace achievements with netizens.

China will continue to promote the popularization of science. By 2035, the proportion of citizens with basic science education should reach 25 percent and the high-quality development of popular science services will be significantly improved, according to a guideline issued by the central authorities to strengthen the popularization of science and technology in the new era.

The country’s achievements in science and technology will boost the popularization of science to cultivate scientific spirit and innovative thinking among the public, said Yu Dengyun, deputy chief designer of China’s lunar exploration program.

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