Youth space camp among festivities for 60th
Thirty Hong Kong students will travel to the mainland this summer to receive the same training that China's astronauts undergo - one of the dozen-plus events being organised to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PRC.
The students will train and interact with astronauts at Beijing Space City and the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre in Sichuan province . The event coincides with the arrival of the Yuanwang-6 - one of the hi-tech communication vessels that helped to track and control last year's Shenzhou VII mission, which saw the nation's first manned spacewalk. Public tours begin on Thursday and run until May 3.
Hong Kong is also organising a dragon boat regatta, a districts bunting contest, activities based on the East Asian Games, and a National Day Carnival and fireworks display.
Carrie Yau Tsang Ka-lai, permanent secretary for home affairs, said the events would enable the community to gain a deeper understanding of the nation's situation, developments and achievements.
'The events will be very inclusive so that the public from all walks of life, citizens from different ethnic background, will all have a chance to participate,' Mrs Yau said.
Michael Wong Hing-lan, chief curator of the Hong Kong Science Museum, said that the Yuanwang-6 would berth at Ocean Terminal in Tsim Sha Tsui next Wednesday. Group visits by schools and social welfare organisations are arranged for the following day.
A total of 14,000 free tickets are available at 10 Leisure and Cultural Services Department venues on a first-come, first-served basis. Another 4,700 tickets are reserved for schools and social welfare groups.
'Each visitor will receive a commemorative badge, and a lucky draw will be held on May 3, where 50 visitors will be able to win Shenzhou VII or Long March 2F rocket models,' Mr Wong said.
Chan Ki-hung, curator of the Hong Kong Space Museum, said that a 'young astronaut training camp' would be organised together with the China Astronaut Research and Training Centre during the summer vacation. 'The key event would be for students to have a chance to receive real astronaut training,' Mr Chan said.
Nominations from schools start next month. Candidates must have a good physique, be fluent in Putonghua and know about aerospace.
Mrs Yau said HK$36 million had been earmarked for organising the various celebration activities.
More information can be found at www.gov.hk/nationalday60.
The main events planned to mark the 60th anniversary in Hong Kong
Apr 29-May 4
Visit of Yuanwang-6 space-tracking ship to Ocean Terminal
May 1-Aug 31
Young Astronaut Training Camp for 20 local students at Beijing Space City and Xichang Satellite Launch Centre
May Fourth Youth Cultural Festival 2009 and Cultural Carnival of Chinese Ethnic Groups in Victoria Park
Flag-raising ceremony to celebrate 90th anniversary of May Fourth Movement, Golden Bauhinia Square
2009 Hong Kong International Dragon Boat Regatta in celebration of the 60th anniversary
Hong Kong 2009 East Asian Games 100-day countdown/torch relay in celebration of the 60th anniversary
?A Century of China? exhibition at Museum of History
Flag-raising ceremony to mark 60th anniversary, Golden Bauhinia Square; National Day Carnival in Victoria Park; fireworks display in Victoria Harbour
Cultural show in celebration of the 60th anniversary at Hong Kong Coliseum