Chinese president vows bigger strides in space exploration

Beijing, June 24 (IANS) President Xi Jinping Monday said the Chinese people will take bigger strides in space exploration.

"The space dream is part of the dream to make China stronger. With the development of space programmes, the Chinese people will take bigger strides to explore further into the space," reported People's Daily citing Xi during a video conversation with astronauts aboard the orbiting space module Tiangong-1.

Greeting the three astronauts - Nie Haisheng, Zhang Xiaoguang and Wang Yaping - who embarked on their space journey June 11, the Chinese president said: "You have worked and lived in space for 13 days. We all care about you very much."

Speaking of China's first space lecture June 20, Xi said it would play an important role in fostering students' interest in sciences and exploring the space.

About 60 million students from 80,000 schools watched the 40-minute live lecture when woman astronaut Wang lectured about motion in micro-gravity environments and the surface tension of liquid in space, supporting her lecture with various demonstrations.

The president said the manned space mission has reflected the courage to defy hardship and explore, a spirit that would inspire the entire nation.


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