The Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Sun Dong, said on Monday that the Hong Kong government is very proud to be able to help with the recruitment of astronauts.
He said Hong Kong people, especially youngsters who’ve always dreamed of going to space, are excited by the central government’s invitation for the SAR to nominate candidates for a national manned space programme.
Sun’s comment comes a day after the China Manned Space Agency announced it has started its recruitment process for up to 14 astronauts, including seven to eight pilots, a few engineers and around two payload specialists.
For the first time, it will be looking for potential recruits in Hong Kong and Macau for the payload specialist positions, who are mainly responsible for scientific experiments, research and tests during a space mission.
“We believe the competition will be very keen. That’s why we hope every young person in Hong Kong who is eligible will apply,” Sun told an RTHK programme.
“We hope there will be as many candidates as possible. I believe if we nominate enough candidates – since it is the first time the nation is recruiting from Hong Kong and Macau – it’s still possible for someone from Hong Kong to be selected.”
Sun said he believes the central government decided to consider Hong Kong candidates because the city has made good achievements in innovation technology in the past years.
He added that he believes in the future, Beijing will also look for astronauts for other space missions from the SAR.