China / Innovation

Astronauts ready to kick off busy month in space

By ZHAO LEI (China Daily) Updated: 2016-10-19 07:09

HK students see experiments sent to lab

The successful liftoff of the Shenzhou XI manned spacecraft sets the stage for a group of Hong Kong students to make space history.

Experiments designed by the three winning teams from the Space Science Experiment Design Competition for Hong Kong secondary school students last year have rocketed aloft and will be carried out in space.

Wong Yeung, a teacher from Po Leung Kuk Laws Foundation College, was one of a 17-member delegation from the three Hong Kong teams to observe with what must have been a spine-tingling thrill, as Shenzhou XI blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in Gansu province.

"We were all basking in the glory of having our pupils' creations carried into space to be tested," Wong said.

The experiments were to see whether saturated saline water could form a porous, waterproof membrane in microgravity; watching the transformation of silkworms and silk production in space; and examining Chaos Theory by a comparative study of oscillating pendulums in space and on Earth.

Astronauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong will carry out a series of experiments, including the three designed by Hong Kong students, after Shenzhou XI docks with the Tiangong II space laboratory.

Mak Tang Pik-yee, executive director of the Hong Kong Productivity Council, who led the Hong Kong delegation in Jiuquan, said designing experiments that would actually be carried out in space is a dream come true for the students.

Mak said that the students had achieved something remarkable in terms of their inventiveness and originality of vision as well as coming up with ideas that are workable.


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