Visit takes off with space centre tour

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 September, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 September, 2001, 12:00am

We have all heard of local students visiting space centres in the United States.

But in Russia?

Last month, four local students - Tracy Au Yeung Kwok-wai, Gordon Siu Kin-hang, Boris Or Wing-leung and Joey Sum Chun-yi - joined a trip to Moscow.

It was organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups and the Bauman University of Moscow. The event was sponsored by the Sir Robert Black Trust Fund.

'This was definitely the most exciting and unforgettable summer holiday I ever had,' said the 15-year-old Kin-hang.

'Some might argue that you can always join holiday tours to Moscow, but the point is, many of the places we visited this time are strategic facilities with maximum security control and are strictly off-limits to tourists.'

During the four-week trip, they visited the Bauman University of Moscow, an institution specialising in aerospace engineering, the Energia space museum, the Lavochkin Museum and the Energomash Space Rocket Engines Demonstration Hall.

One definite highlight for the students was the visit to the Russian Space Mission Control Centre.

This was one of the major training centres where they met two Russian astronauts.

'This summer holiday will surely live on in my memory because I have never thought of meeting real astronauts and asking them questions about the universe before,' said 18-year-old Kwok-wai.

For Chun-yi, 16, the best part of the trip was staying with a family in Moscow.

She said: 'The family that I stayed with was extremely nice. Though they spoke very little English they tried very hard to speak to me. They made me feel very welcome and fed me well. I was very grateful because an average Moscow family earns no more than $4,000 a month.'