HK stu­dents see ex­per­i­ments sent to lab

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - — HONEY TSANG

The suc­cess­ful liftoff of the Shen­zhou XI manned space­craft sets the stage for a group of Hong Kong stu­dents to make space history.

Ex­per­i­ments de­signed by the three win­ning teams from the Space Science Ex­per­i­ment De­sign Com­pe­ti­tion for Hong Kong sec­ondary school stu­dents last year have rock­eted aloft and will be car­ried out in space.

Wong Ye­ung, a teacher from Po Le­ung Kuk Laws Foun­da­tion Col­lege, was one of a 17-mem­ber del­e­ga­tion from the three Hong Kong teams to ob­serve with what must have been a spine-tin­gling thrill, as Shen­zhou XI blasted off from the Ji­uquan Satel­lite Launch Cen­ter in Gansu prov­ince.

“We were all bask­ing in the glory of hav­ing our pupils’ cre­ations car­ried into space to be tested,” Wong said.

The ex­per­i­ments were to see whether sat­u­rated sa­line wa­ter could form a por­ous, wa­ter­proof mem­brane in mi­cro­grav­ity; watch­ing the trans­for­ma­tion of silk­worms and silk pro­duc­tion in space; and ex­am­in­ing Chaos The­ory by a com­par­a­tive study of os­cil­lat­ing pen­du­lums in space and on Earth.

As­tro­nauts Jing Haipeng and Chen Dong will carry out a se­ries of ex­per­i­ments, in­clud­ing the three de­signed by Hong Kong stu­dents, after Shen­zhou XI docks with the Tian­gong II space lab­o­ra­tory.

Mak Tang Pik-yee, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Hong Kong Pro­duc­tiv­ity Coun­cil, who led the Hong Kong del­e­ga­tion in Ji­uquan, said de­sign­ing ex­per­i­ments that would ac­tu­ally be car­ried out in space is a dream come true for the stu­dents.

Mak said that the stu­dents had achieved some­thing re­mark­able in terms of their in­ven­tive­ness and orig­i­nal­ity of vi­sion as well as com­ing up with ideas that are work­able.

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