Chinese astronauts invite Namibia for space venture

Chinese astronauts invite Namibia for space venture
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NAMPA

Chinese astronaut Liu Yang told President Hage Geingob on Thursday that her government is looking forward to Namibia’s participation in future space missions with China.
Speaking at State House during a courtesy meeting, Liu said China will build its space station in 2022, which will be a platform for all the other countries to cooperate with each other.
“Win-win cooperation and mutual benefits is what we want to do,” she said.
The 41-year-old Liu was China’s first female astronaut among a three-member crew aboard the Shenzhou-IX spacecraft that flew into space in 2012.
Also speaking at the meeting was Liu’s male colleague, 41-year-old Chen Dong, who is the record holder for the longest stay in space among all Chinese astronauts.
In 2016, Cheng and his crew flew the Shenzhou-XI spacecraft into space and docked successfully with the Tiangong-II Space Laboratory.
During his 33 days in space, Chen conducted several scientific experiments, including the first space interview, the first space jog and the first vegetable planting in China’s space history.
Cheng concurred with Liu, saying in the future his wish is to fly in space with a Namibia astronaut.
“We are very much looking forward to that dream to become true,” he noted.
Replying to the astronauts’ call, Geingob jokingly asked if there’s an age restriction for the China-Namibia space venture.
He further thanked the astronauts for taking time to visit Namibia and inspire the local youth.
“The most important thing is we can share the space experience. Those [of us] who are unfortunate and can not afford to launch a spacecraft, for a friendly country to share that with us is already enough,” Going said.
Earlier the same day, the astronauts, along with their delegation, which included the Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, paid a visit to the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST).
Attending the gathering were students from NUST, University of Namibia and pupils who were given the opportunity to ask questions and gain information from the astronauts.
Liu, Cheng and their delegation arrived in Namibia on 19 August and are scheduled to leave the country on Friday.