Space travellers visit Erongo

Namibian students are encouraged to explore the opportunities space travelling has to offer.

25 August 2019 | Local News

Zhang Yiming; Ambassador; Out of the three foreign visits Chinese astronauts have ever undertaken, two were made to Namibia.”

Swakopmund • Erwin Leuschner



Liu Yang, the first female Chinese astronaut in space, and her colleague Chen Dong arrived in Namibia recently.

Their mission was to visit the Telemetry, Tracking and Command Station (TTCS) located at Swakopmund on Monday.

The ministry of higher education, training and innovation invited students from three schools to meet the astronauts at the TTCS.

The space travellers were in Namibia on a five-day visit, following an invitation from president Hage Geingob who visited the Beijing Aerospace Control Center in China and invited the astronauts to Namibia in 2018.

The Chinese ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, hailed the visit as an example of the good relationship, friendship and ­camaraderie between Namibia and China.

“Out of the three foreign visits that Chinese astronauts have ever undertaken, two were made to Namibia,” Zhang said in reference to the visit of Yan Liwei, the first Chinese astronaut in space, who visited the TTCS nine years ago.

He said the station in Namibia is very important for China because it is where the first contact with space capsules takes place when they return to earth.

Zhang said China intends to send an astronaut to the moon in the near future for research purposes, and invited students in Namibia to come up with ideas on what could be taken along to the moon from the country.

He encouraged the students to pay more attention to space. “I urge you to show interest and ambition to become an astronaut. Maybe a Namibian can soon also visit space with the help of China.”

Erongo governor Cleophas Mutjavikua welcomed this and said he would like to see a Namibian in space.

The permanent secretary of higher education, training and innovation, Dr. Alfred van Kent, emphasised

the importance of space technologies.

He said the ministry intends to regularly invite students to visit the TTCS where they can learn more about space.

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