Cultivating interest among the public is key mission
In the National Library of China, more than 200 people registered recently for a lottery. This time though the prize was not money but to attend an introductory course on aerospace technology.
They knew that only about half their number could win entry and while some might benefit with late calls for no-shows, the unlucky ones accepted that they would have to try their luck another time.
According to the organizers, 90 percent of the audience were amateurs eager to learn more about aerospace technology.
But one man, Xu Yang is a turbo-electric engineer and knows more than most about the technology. He has followed every major step of China’s aerospace development.
“I have always been keen on aerospace development, especially its progress in China,” saidXu. “I guess part of the reason is that what I do connects with aerospace.”
I sincerely hope the advanced technology used in space can better benefit daily lives, especially in life sciences”
Xu Yang, turbo-electric engineer
According to Xu, some of the technology used in rocket propulsion is also used for generating electricity.
“I’ve been following the industry since the very first Chinese satellite made it into space,” said Xu.
“I’ve watched the progression, including the Long March rockets, the Shenzhou ships and Tiangong space laboratories.
“I have visited the space center in Houston and the air and space museums in Beijing,” Xu added. “After witnessing the development of aerospace in China, I sincerely hope the advanced technology used in space can better benefit daily lives, especially in life sciences.”
For many, their passion comes from books.
“Almost all my early knowledge about aerospace came from a set of books entitled Encyclopedia for Chinese Children,” said Wu Yirui, a 25-yearold graduate.
“When I was young, my family couldn’t afford the whole set of four. My parents bought me two, one being the volume on science and technology. I used my knowledge for assignments and graphics inmy elementary school,” said Wu.
“I became a fan of the military and aerospace in those school days.”
This is the type of fertile breeding ground that scientists and science teachers want to see. Young people getting interested and keeping their passion as they enter college.
“Frankly, money is not exactly what we lack in terms of the development of aerospace technologies,” said Pang Zhihao, a researcher at China Academy of Space Technology and a firm believer in spreading knowledge of science.
“It’s the talents with creative minds that we need the most.”
“We hope to plant the seed of science in them. Who knows? They or their children may become space scientists one day,” said Pang.