Chinese, US space teachers exchange letter

Updated: 2013-06-20 17:31


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BEIJING - After wrapping up her first lecture in space on Thursday, Chinese astronaut Wang Yaping replied to a letter from former US astronaut Barbara Morgan.

Chinese, US space teachers exchange letter

The space lecture on the Tiangong-1 began for the first time in Chinese history at 10 am Beijing time on June 20, 2013. The special lecture is given by a teacher aboard China's space module Tiangong-1 to students on Earth.[Photo/Xinhua]

In an email sent from China's orbiting space module Tiangong-1, Wang expressed her gratitude for a letter that Morgan had written to her.

"My colleagues and I were very glad to receive your letter so far away from Earth. Thank you for your regards," Wang wrote.

She said the Chinese astronauts very much "admire and respect" Morgan for her achievements in both manned space programs and education.

Morgan, born in 1951, conducted her first teaching lesson in space in 2007 from the International Space Station. Via a video feed, she showed students how to exercise and drink water in space.

"Today, I shared the wonder of the universe with millions of Chinese students," wrote Wang. "I hope teachers and students in the other parts of the world will also like my lecture."

Through a correspondent in Los Angeles, Morgan passed a letter to Wang on June 13.

"I have written a letter that I hope the Chinese news media will share with astronaut Yaping and all the people of China," Morgan wrote in an email to Xinhua. "I share your sense of pride and joy!"

For Morgan, distance cannot separate Americans and Chinese, and there are no apparent boundaries in teaching. "All over the world, we are really very excited," Morgan wrote.

"You will be very busy up there, but please remember to take time to look out the window. China and all of this world are beautiful," she wrote in the letter.

In her email, Wang shared what it feels like when she looks out of the window of the Tiangong-1.

"Human beings place high hopes on the universe, and we need knowledge to get there," she wrote. "We would like to work with you to open a door to the universe for children around the world."

Wang hosted a lecture for about 330 primary and middle school students in Beijing on Thursday morning. While those students watched a direct video feed, more than 60 million students and teachers in about 80,000 middle schools across China watched a live broadcast from the classroom with the live feed.

She demonstrated motion in a microgravity environment, explained how zero gravity magnifies the surface tension of water and helped students understand the concepts of weight and mass and Newton's laws of motion.