Translated by: Wang Min
Edited by: D. Parker
“Wow, that’s how Tiangong-2 docked with other spaceship. How marvelous space is!” said students from the Secondary School Affiliated with Harbin Institute of Technology. Under the guidance of the staff, they had an immersive VR experience in a model of the spaceship Tiangong-2 seeing how it docked. This is what the reporter witnessed on the morning of April 24th, 2018 at the space exhibition in the Sports Center on HIT’s second campus. It was a highlight of the many events held on China’s Space Day. The week-long exhibition opened to the public on April 21st, 2018 and attracted many citizens and primary and secondary students.
The exhibition hall, covering about 3,500 square meters, consisted of three areas with different themes. “Flying High for the Chinese Dream” was the theme for the highly popular science exhibition. The aerospace exhibition theme was “40 Years of Reform and Opening-up.” There was also a commercial exhibition sponsored by the aerospace industry companies. The exhibits displayed at the popular science exhibition include the re-entry capsule of the spacecraft Shenzhou-10, the space suits, the Long March rockets, rocket debris, the return vehicle of spacecraft Chang'e 5, the Mars probe, and many other valuable artifacts from China’s major spacecraft projects. Some of the exhibits were on display for first the time.
In addition to these exhibits, visitors could enjoy interactive programs with the applications from advanced technology. One example was a simulated moon’s surface. Once the person facing the screen waved his hand, the lunar lander Chang'e 3 would land on the surface, and send the Yutu rover to the surface by a manipulator arm.
“Uncle Liu, what do the stars look like from space?” “How do you drink in space?” “Can you see debris floating in space?” “As an astronaut, what do you think is the importance of space exploration?”...... In the exhibition hall of manned spaceflight, Major General Liu Boming, an astronaut and national hero spoke with students from Taiyuan Jinshan Secondary School, and Harbin Fuhua Primary School and answered their questions about popular science topics.
“During the several days of space travel, we had a great experience in zero gravity, like gliding in the sky. We saw the coastline of our motherland clearly, as well as the Taklamakan Desert in Xinjiang. We also saw Taiwan Island. It was so beautiful! It looked like a green jade inlaid in the blue ocean. We felt proud of our great motherland.” Liu Boming expressed his love for our prosperous China when describing his space travel adventures with the students.
The day before, April 23rd, Major General Liu Boming delivered a speech entitled “The Charm of the Universe, The New Era of Aerospace” at the Secondary School Affiliated with Harbin Institute of Technology. He shared his understanding of the Chinese Dream and the Aerospace Dream with students and teachers.
“The Secondary School Affiliated with Harbin Institute of Technology is a well-known school with advanced educational ideals, great faculty resources, and outstanding alumni. My birth place is in Heilongjiang province. When I came here I deeply felt your love and concern for aerospace.” These heartfelt, sincere words shared by Liu at the beginning of his speech endeared him to the audience.
In the speech, Liu compared his ardent love for China with his space travel experiences. “The interests of the nation are above all else. This strong belief is the backbone of my life and career. It has brought me confidence when encountering setbacks and difficulties, and modesty when achieving fame and wealth.” Liu shared some of the obstacles he faced during the extreme physical training. These included hyper-gravity training for endurance, weightless training and psychological training in an isolated environment. Through these experiences, Liu concluded that “the splendid life is a constant struggle.”
At the end of the speech, Liu extended his best wishes to the students. He said “You are just beginning your life. I hope that you can cherish every minute and strive for the best during your youth. March on towards the Chinese Dream and Aerospace Dream with your arduous efforts and great persistence.”
Major General Liu Boming at the Secondary School Affiliated to Harbin Institute of Technology
Citizens and students at the popular science exhibition