PolyU welcomes distinguished scientists of China’s space programmes and hosts their first public lecture series in Hong Kong
23 Jun 2021
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) today extended its warmest welcome to the visit of a delegation of distinguished Chinese astronautical scientists who spearhead China’s key space programmes from manned missions to lunar and Mars explorations.
PolyU was also honoured to host the delegation’s first public lecture during their visit to Hong Kong at the Jockey Club Auditorium, featuring Professor QI Faren, the first chief designer of the Shenzhou spacecrafts, who talked about China’s space programme and the spirit and virtues embodied by its astronautical researchers.
PolyU is the only Hong Kong institution involved in China’s astronautical projects with wide ranging and in-depth collaboration, and has made significant contributions to our country’s lunar and Mars explorations. We welcome PolyU’s researchers to participate even more – both in terms of scope and depth – in China’s space projects, and to contribute to the Nation’s endeavours to become a space power.
Chinese Academy of Engineering academician and the first chief designer of the Shenzhou spacecrafts
The stellar delegation included preeminent Chinese Academy of Engineering academicians Qi Faren and LONG Lehao, chief designer of the Long March series rockets. They were accompanied by HU Hao, chief designer of the Lunar Exploration Project Phase III; XIE Jun, chief designer of the third generation BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (BDS-3); SUN Zezhou, Tianwen-1 Mars probe’s chief designer; and ZHANG He, executive director of the Chang’e-4 lunar probe project.
Dr LAM Tai-fai, Chairman of Council, PolyU and Professor Jin-Guang TENG, President, PolyU; Mr Alfred SIT Wing-hang, Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the Hong Kong SAR Government; and Professor JIANG Jianxiang, Director-General of the Department of Educational, Scientific and Technological Affairs of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR, met and exchanged with the delegation on Wednesday morning.
They were joined by PolyU’s Professor YUNG Kai-leung, Director of the University Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations and Chair Professor & Associate Head, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; and Professor WU Bo, Associate Head of Department of Land Surveying and Geo-informatics ¬– both of whom have extensively participated in the Nation’s lunar and Mars exploration missions.
Dr Lam offered his warmest welcome and gratitude on behalf of PolyU to the distinguished scientists’ visit. He said: “We are most grateful to the delegation’s visit to PolyU, which gives our students as well as Hong Kong’s youth firsthand understanding of our country’s astronautical development. The delegation will inspire the youth’s enthusiasm towards the Nation’s scientific research endeavours. PolyU is committed to contributing to the development of the Nation and Hong Kong through nurturing young talents and pursuing research excellence in cutting-edge technologies,” Lam added.
Professor Jiang said Hong Kong citizens, especially the younger generation, will appreciate the noble dedication of these space scientists to the Nation’s rejuvenation. “Their visit and lectures will greatly promote the spirit and virtues of the country’s astronautical community, as well as encourage Hong Kong students to follow their scientific aspirations and have confidence in being self-reliant when pursuing technological innovation.”
Mr Sit expressed his gratitude to the Nation for attaching importance and care to Hong Kong. The delegation brought with them a portion of the lunar soil samples collected from the country's moon exploration mission last year. The first public exhibition of the soil sample in Hong Kong allows Hong Kong citizens to share the outstanding achievements of the country's developments in aerospace and enhances their sense of belonging to the Nation. “It is a great honour that The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has been invited to participate in the Nation’s aerospace missions over the years. This demonstrates Hong Kong’s important role in the country’s innovation and technology development (I&T), and proves that Hong Kong can undertake more substantial I&T missions and make greater contributions to the Nation,” he added.
ZHAO Xiaojin, Senior Vice President of the China Academy of Space Technology who led the delegation, said Hong Kong compatriots have supported and contributed to China’s astronautical achievements – and PolyU’s researchers and other Hong Kong scientists’ relentless research efforts and close collaboration have been indispensable. “Hong Kong scientists’ participation in key national astronautical projects have demonstrated their edge in areas like education, basic research and international impact. Hong Kong has proven to be a highly effective partner in astronautical project collaboration.”
Professor Teng said: “The Nation’s proud astronautical achievements have not only underscored the country’s national strength and promoted the pride of the Chinese people, but also greatly advanced humankind’s development in this area of space exploration. Likewise, PolyU’s participation in national space programmes helps in promoting the Hong Kong public to identify themselves as part of the country and enhances their national pride, in addition to providing huge opportunities for the University’s researchers. PolyU will strengthen its support to our science researchers as they strive to participate in the country’s astronautical and related areas’ research and development, with the aspiration to contribute to the Nation’s advancement.”
The leading scientists will deliver a series of lectures in universities and secondary schools during their visit to inspire Hong Kong’s youth and encourage them to pursue their science and aerospace dreams, so that they can contribute to the Nation’s scientific and technological advancement.
Professor Qi commenced the lecture series on Wednesday with his enlightening talk about the country’s past, present, and future astronautical developments. He presented to young audiences at the auditorium and through live video streaming, explaining how the spirit and virtues of Chinese scientists have guided the building of China’s space programme in over six decades. The scientists worked from scratch and their efforts led China to becoming a major aerospace country capable of sending people to space and utilising it, as well as defending China’s interests in space. That spirit would continue to be the force behind the efforts to make China a space power.
“PolyU is the only Hong Kong institution involved in China’s astronautical projects with wide ranging and in-depth collaboration, and has made significant contributions to our country’s lunar and Mars explorations. We welcome PolyU’s researchers to participate even more – both in terms of scope and depth – in China’s space projects, and to contribute to the Nation’s endeavours to become a space power.”
Qi encouraged Hong Kong’s young talents to work in the Mainland’s astronautical institutions. He also welcomed them to participate directly or indirectly in Hong Kong-based research projects that serve national space programmes’ needs, citing examples of the young researchers working in Professor Yung and Professor Wu’s teams at PolyU. He said the Chinese space station, once completed, will accept research proposals from Hong Kong and international researchers.
On patriotism, the 88-year-old academician shared his belief on how to practice it with the audience. “In peacetime we can all practice patriotism; it is not a demanding call – all it requires is for us to do our best in our own jobs. If every fellow countryman does their best, then our Nation will be strong. I think Professor Yung and Professor Wu’s teams are examples: they are devoted to their careers, passionate about astronautical research, and they love their country. They have also made contributions. Therefore, they are patriotic.”
The delegation will deliver two more lectures at PolyU on Thursday (24 June), featuring Mr Xie Jun and Ms Zhang He, who will share with young people how they realised their dreams to build a world-class navigation satellite system and to explore the moon.
PolyU is also privileged to participate in the related science exhibition to be commenced on Saturday (26 June) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, which will showcase the roles PolyU played in China’s lunar and Mars explorations, as well as the University’s contributions in other advanced science and technological areas.
***** END *****
Ms Eunice Cheng
Interim Director, Communications and Public Affairs Office
- 2766 6377
Mr Matt Ho
Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs
- 3400 2131