Wang Yap­ing: Space Teacher

It is Wang Yap­ing’s dream to make the space in­dus­try ben­e­fit the whole of so­ci­ety, and she is thank­ful to wit­ness the dawn of a great new era.

China Pictorial (English) - - CONTENTS - In­ter­viewed by Hu Zhoumeng Text by Nancy Gong

As as­tro­nauts, we are in a state of prepa­ra­tion ev­ery day and stay ready to head into space any­time.

“It’s great to see chil­dren sow­ing the seeds of their space dreams and start­ing the jour­ney,” said Wang Yap­ing, a deputy to the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress (NPC) and China’s sec­ond fe­male as­tro­naut to en­ter space, rem­i­nisc­ing about the space les­son she taught five years ago while be­ing in­ter­viewed in the “deputies’ pas­sage” dur­ing the first ses­sion of the 13th NPC in the Great Hall of the Peo­ple on March 5, 2018.

On the morn­ing of June 20, 2013, from over 300 kilo­me­ters above ground, Wang be­came China’s first “space teacher” by de­liv­er­ing a space lec­ture to school­child­ren on the earth from China’s first space lab Tian­gong-1. With the help of her com­pan­ions, she suc­cess­fully com­pleted five ba­sic physics ex­per­i­ments in­clud­ing weight mea­sure­ment, sim­ple pen­du­lum mo­tion, and gy­ro­scopic mo­tion in zero-grav­ity con­di­tions. Tens of mil­lions of stu­dents watched the lec­ture and felt the charm of a fas­ci­nat­ing sci­en­tific world. The 40-minute global live broad­cast demon­strated the progress of China’s space tech­nol­ogy and planted the seeds of space dreams in the hearts of those chil­dren. “Af­ter I re­turned from my mis­sion, I re­ceived let­ters from many chil­dren who hoped to be­come as­tro­nauts as well,” she re­vealed. “It made me feel happy and proud.”

It is Wang’s dream to make the space in­dus­try ben­e­fit the whole of so­ci­ety, and she is thank­ful to wit­ness the dawn of a great new era.

With the suc­cess­ful dock­ing of China’s first un­manned cargo space­craft Tianzhou-1 with the Tian­gong-2 space lab in 2017, China’s manned space ex­plo­ration has en­tered the space sta­tion era. “As as­tro­nauts, we are in a state of prepa­ra­tion ev­ery day and stay ready to head into space any­time,” Wang de­clared. “At the mo­ment, all Chinese as­tro­nauts are do­ing their best to pre­pare for space sta­tion mis­sions.”

On June 24, 2013, Chinese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, also gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, spoke to three as­tro­nauts in­clud­ing

Wang who were work­ing on the Tian­gong-1 from the Beijing Aero­space Con­trol Cen­ter. “Aero­space power is vi­tal for build­ing a strong na­tion,” he said.

“As as­tro­nauts, we have to per­form our du­ties in a down-to-earth man­ner, study hard, train hard, prac­tice our skills, and re­main per­pet­u­ally ready to ex­plore space for our moth­er­land as it be­comes a global aero­space power,” Wang said.

As a newly elected NPC deputy, Wang Yap­ing, who is serv­ing in the mil­i­tary, shoul­ders the re­spon­si­bil­ity of speak­ing for of­fi­cers and sol­diers. “Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping called for mak­ing be­ing a ser­vice­man a re­spected pro­fes­sion in the whole of so­ci­ety, which has in­spired en­cour­ag­ing feed­back from the whole na­tion,” Wang said. “It has also tremen­dously en­cour­aged all the of­fi­cers and sol­diers. I am an as­tro­naut. It is a no­ble honor be­stowed on me by our so­ci­ety. This sup­port en­cour­ages us and gives us the strength to face down the strug­gles of this ca­reer.”

Af­ter thor­ough sur­veys, Wang sug­gested that China for­mu­late rel­e­vant laws to pro­tect the le­gal sta­tus of sol­diers, pub­li­cize the at­trac­tive qual­i­ties of the mil­i­tary pro­fes­sion, im­prove con­di­tions for sol­diers and teach the con­cept of re­spect­ing ser­vice­men in schools.

Wang Yap­ing, deputy to the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress and China’s sec­ond fe­male as­tro­naut en­ter­ing space, is proud to be China’s first “space teacher.” by Wan Quan

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