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Published On:Thursday, June 20, 2013
Posted by Sri Lanka Guardian

China’s first space lecture

Shenzhou X astronaut gives lecture today

( June 20, 2013, Beijing, Sri Lanka Guardian) Wang Yaping shows a small ball tied with a string to a holder fixed on a metal plate. She lets the ball go and the ball suspends. Then she pushes the ball gently and the ball moves in a circular motion.

Wang Yaping pushes a static gyro and a moving gyro respectively to change the way they move.

Wang Yaping [Photo by Zou Hong/Asianewsphoto]
A special lecture began Thursday morning, given by a teacher aboard China's space module Tiangong-1 to students on Earth.

Female astronaut Wang Yaping, one of the three crew members of Shenzhou-10 spacecraft, greeted about 330 primary and middle school students at a Beijing high school, through a live video feed system.

More than 60 million students and teachers at about 80,000 middle schools across the country are watching the live broadcast on TV.

Wang will teach about motion in a microgravity environment, the surface tension of liquid, and help students understand the concepts of weight and mass and Newton's Laws.

Born in east China's Shandong Province, the hometown of China's most famous educationist Confucius (551-479 BC), the 33-year-old Wang is the second Chinese female astronaut after Liu Yang, who entered the record books in the Shenzhou-9 mission in June last year.

The world's first teacher in space was Christa McAuliffe, a 37-year-old middle school teacher from the United States, but the Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrated after 73 seconds in flight on January 28, 1986. McAuliffe and her other six crewmates were killed.

Barbara Morgan, McAuliffe's backup in that mission who became an astronaut later, completed the teaching lesson in space in 2007, when she was sent to the International Space Station with Space Shuttle Endeavor. Via a video feed, she showed students how to exercise and drink water in space.

The lesson is aimed at making space more popular, as well as inspiring enthusiasm for the universe and science, according to Zhou Jianping, designer-in-chief of China's manned space program, who added that the lesson will also accumulate experience for similar larger activities.

"The spirit of science of the youth is an important drive for the progress of mankind," said Zhou. "Space activities can help them build up the spirit of seeking science and facing challenges."

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