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Hong Kong’s astronaut hopefuls prepare for screening as Chinese spacecraft launches

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Hong Kong’s astronaut hopefuls prepare for another round of screening in Beijing as Chinese spacecraft launches

Hong Kong leader says he is cheering for city candidates and hopes one of them will fulfil their space dreamsGui Haichao, a professor, becomes first Chinese payload specialist and civilian astronaut to enter spaceHong Kong societyOscar LiuPublished: 8:40pm, 30 May, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Around a dozen shortlisted candidates from Hong Kong and Macau who applied to become payload specialists will head to Beijing next month for another round of screening in China’s unprecedented space programme recruitment drive, the city’s leader has said.When Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu sent congratulations on the launch of the Shenzhou-16 spacecraft on Tuesday, he also revealed that the Hongkongers who passed the preliminary screening were from government departments, the Hospital Authority, universities and other organisations.

“I am cheering for the candidates from Hong Kong, hoping that one of them can successfully achieve their space dreams and contribute to the national aerospace industry, bringing honour to Hong Kong,” he told the press ahead of a weekly meeting with his advisers.

The three-week recruitment drive was part of the selection process for the country’s fourth intake of astronauts. Fourteen spots are available, including for two payload specialists to be selected from Hong Kong and Macau.

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