A science class from above Earth

Updated: 2013-06-21 02:22

By Xin Dingding in Beijing and Fu Jing in Brussels (China Daily)

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A science class from above Earth

Astronaut Wang Yaping teaches a class from space to the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China in Beijing on Thursday. Gao Haitao / For China Daily 

Gravity-free lesson helps young students float fresh ideas

Astronaut Wang Yaping wowed millions of students on Thursday when she held China's first science lesson from space.

Wearing a blue spacesuit and appearing via video link, China's second woman in space demonstrated physics only possible in low gravity.

It was the second video class delivered from an orbit more than 300 kilometers above the Earth's surface, with US astronaut Barbara Morgan's 25-minute class being the first in 2007.

"We hope the class will trigger young people's interest in space and spur their spirit of exploration," said Yu Changxue, a senior official with the Ministry of Education.

The class, with one part held in a Beijing school with 335 student representatives from 16 schools and the other held in the orbiting Tiangong-1 space module, started with a short video recorded by the three astronauts that introduced how they sleep in a standing position in blue sleeping bags, how they eat and drink from sealed bags, and how to somersault in space.

A science class from above Earth

The live lecture attracts the interest of students at a Beijing school. Jin Liwang / Xinhua

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