Shenzhou X astronaut gives lecture today
Updated: 2013-06-20 13:49
China's first "space class" ended at about 10:51 am Thursday. The astronauts will continue to stay in the Tiangong-1 orbiter to conduct space science and technology experiments.
In the interactive exchanges with students back on the Earth, Chinese astronauts aboard the Tiangong-1 orbiter also answered questions related to water use in spacecraft, space debris protection measures, ways to deal with gravity-free environment as well as space views.
Wang Yaping makes a water film with a water bag and a metal ring. She explains to students that the surface tension of water magnifies in space due to zero gravity. Then she makes the second water film and pours water onto it. The water film turns into a water ball.
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.
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 aBeijinghigh 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 microgravityenvironment, the surface tension of liquid, and help students understand the concepts of weight and mass and Newton's Laws.
Born in east China'sShandongProvince, the hometown of China's most famouseducationist 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 andscience, 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."