Peter Lui Kin-chuen has an astronomical ambition - he would like to be the first astronaut from Hong Kong. He will take a step towards realising his dream when he leads 21 boys from the 205th Kowloon Scout troop to Moscow for special training in a space camp this summer. Scout leader Mr Lui's dream began when he met the President of the Russian Youth Aerospace Society, Alexander Serebrov, in the United Sates two years ago. 'The astronaut told me about the Young Astronaut Programme which I found very inspiring,' he recalled. Since then, Mr Lui has written to Mr Serebrov regularly asking to take part in the programme. The result is that the first scouts from the territory will travel to Russia next month to attend a space camp which runs from July 17 to July 28 in Moscow. The cost of the trip is around $20,000 for each participant. The focus of the training programme is on flight theory and control of manned space vehicles, construction and arrangement of the 'Mir' orbital complex, astro-navigation training, and learning about spaceship life-support systems. The programme offers both technical and psychological training, and the camp combines an educational, recreational and cultural experience where new friendships can be fostered. 'We will not only learn the principles of space navigation and the preparatory training for space flight, but also meet some Russian scouts,' Mr Lui said. The programme is designed for maximum participation and enjoyment. The varied activities include visits to the Cosmonauts Training Centre, the Air Force's museum, the Kremlin, the Armoury and Red Square. One of the participants, sixth-former Yeung Pui-lik said the trip promised to be a valuable learning experience. The young scout is especially keen on astro-navigation training. 'This trip offers a unique opportunity to take part in Russia's astronaut training programme and have an adventure in Moscow at the same time,' said the 18-year-old. The youngest participant in the group, Lo Ka-leung, 12, is more concerned about the food and possible communication difficulties. 'I wish I could speak good Russian so that I could talk to the Russian astronauts up in the space station,' the Form One student said. Interest in space travel may be relatively new in the territory, but the programme has been gaining popularity in America, Russia, Japan and Korea for some time. The Young Astronaut Council in the United States reaches young students by providing space-themed curriculum packages and teachers' handbooks. The programme reaches one-third of the elementary and junior high schools in the United States, and already has over 31,000 chapters worldwide. A chapter is a group of up to 30 students led by a volunteer adult using two to three hours of curriculum material a week.