Local youths engage with Chinese taikonauts to understand the intricate details of space
The Chinese Embassy in Namibia hosted its leg of the “Talk with Taikonauts” event in Windhoek on Tuesday, to strengthen China’s space cooperation with African countries while deepening the youths’ understanding of the universe.
The main venue of the event was held at the headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, and students from Namibia’s Chairman Mao Zedong High school participated alongside seven other African countries in a virtual dialogue with the three taikonauts, Chen Dong, Liu Yang, and Cai Xuzhe, currently carrying out the Shenzhou-14 Spaceship mission.
Local science student representative on behalf of the youth, Emily Nangacovie had an opportunity to pose a question to the taikonauts where she asked, what research topic are they undertaking and what they look to achieve on the mission.
In response, Cai said, “we are focusing on studying the impact of long-term exposure to zero-gravity on astronauts’ health and corresponding protection measures, looking at astronauts’ behavior and capabilities and delving into the application of traditional medicine in space.”
“And also we do experiments on variable gravity science, life, ecology science, biotechnology science, physics of fluids and combustion science,” Cai added.
“These experimental research projects will provide support for astronauts to live a healthy life and work with a high efficiency in the space station and lay the groundwork for future exploration in space,” Cai explained.
Speaking on the same occasion Chinese Embassy Charge d’ affairs, Yang Jun said China over the past three decades has been making rapid progress in manned space missions with support from the international community, including Namibia.
“Thanks to the facilitation from the Namibian government, the telemetry, tracking, and command station was built in Swakopmund in 2001 to track Chinese space missions,” he said, adding that in return China will construct a satellite digital receiving ground station near Windhoek.
Furthermore, Yang said China will also help train Namibian technicians on space technology and will conduct space research jointly with Namibia.
Meanwhile, last year three Chinese taikonauts on a Shenzhou-12 spaceship carried a Namibian national flag into space, while two taikonauts, Cheng Dong and Liu Yang visited Namibia in 2019.
“We can see how fruitful China-Namibia space cooperation is,” he said, adding that the task of developing space technology rests on the shoulders of the youth in the world.