Students to tour space centre, meet astronauts

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 June, 2011, 12:00am


Students who dream of a trip to the final frontier can take one small step towards it, thanks to a visit being organised by local universities to China's space technology centre.

Supported by the China Astronaut Research and Training Centre and through a partnership with the Beijing Institute of Technology, Polytechnic University is organising a five-day study programme to Beijing from June 20 for 34 students from eight Hong Kong universities.

Participants will receive some of the same training that Chinese astronauts do, including getting in and out of a spacesuit, tackling emergencies and eating food specially prepared for zero-gravity eating.

The students will meet astronauts and talk with spacecraft crew to learn about their daily routines and preparations. The group will also visit the National Astronomical Observatory, which is managed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

The tour is funded by Poly University, other local tertiary institutions, and though subsidies from the mainland's Ministry of Education. The estimated cost of the trip is about HK$8,000 per student but he or she will be responsible for only HK$1,000.

Candidates had to go through a group interview and were asked about why they wanted to take part in the programme.

One of the chosen students, Laomi Chong Tsz-yan, who studies translation at Lingnan University, said she was drawn by the mysteries of space when she was young, but never had the chance to take part in a space camp. 'Now I can finally fulfil my dream,' she said.