China’s Shenzhou-13 Astronauts to Conduct Second Class from Space Station

Astronauts aboard China’s space station will give another class in the coming days, the China Manned Space Engineering Office (CMSEO) announced on Tuesday.

On June 20, 2013, astronaut Wang Yaping gave her first lecture from the space station with the assistance of her partners, Nie Haisheng and Zhang Xiaoguang. More than 60 million primary and middle school students across the country watched the live lecture.

Eight years later, Shenzhou-13 astronauts – Zhai Zhigang, Wang Yaping and Ye Guangfu – livestreamed their first such lecture from the space station on December 9, 2021. Over 1400 students in five different classrooms in Beijing, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sichuan Province, Hong Kong and Macau participated and were able to ask questions to the space farers.

During the 60-minute lecture, astronauts described working and living on the space station. The astronauts even demonstrated several experiments, among which included cytology, object motion and liquid surface tension, and explained the scientific principles behind the experiments. During the lecture, astronauts interacted with teachers and students on the ground in real time through video.

After the first lecture, the stream was opened to the public in which anyone could ask questions. The second live-streamed lecture was designed in combination with the facilities in space station and public desire.

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At present, the Shenzhou-13 crew has stayed in the Tianhe core module of China’s space station for nearly five months, and they have completed two extravehicular activities to carry out key technical tests of space station assembly and construction, such as the core module’s airlock cabin, the extravehicular suits and mechanical arm. Wang Yaping is not only China’s first female astronaut to spacewalk, but also the only one to stay aboard the station for so long.