Young students from across China said they have been greatly inspired by the special lecture given by Chinese astronauts, or taikonauts, from the country’s space station held on Wednesday.
The educational session is the third one of the series aimed to inspire the younger generation to pursue science. Apart from Beijing, young students from three provinces – east China’s Shandong, central China’s Henan and southwest China’s Yunnan – also attended the space class in a virtual way.
In Dali City, Yunnan Province, some 100 primary and secondary students were selected for the rare opportunity. Yunnan is known for its ethnic diversity. In Dali, there are 13 long-dwelling ethnic groups, and representatives from all the groups were present.
During the around-one-hour livestreamed session, they first learned how the taikonauts – Chen Dong, Liu Yang and Cai Xuzhe – live and work in the experiment cabinet installed at the Wentian lab module. Following that, they watched several scientific experiments demonstrated in a micro-gravity environment, including some water-related phenomena. The students also followed along with the taikonauts to do some of the experiments to better understand the universe.
Some of them also got the opportunity to interact with the taikonauts by asking or answering questions.
Sixth-grader Mei Ziyan shared with the taikonauts how his thale cress seed from space had sprouted and grown.
“I’m very excited, because I have just seen taikonauts on TV before. It’s a great surprise that I could communicate with them face to face today,” the boy told CGTN. “And I benefited a lot from the experiments that we did by following along with the taikonauts.”
“I learned some interesting knowledge about space technology from the class, and also learned that the Mengtian lab module will be launched later this year. I wish the mission will be successful and the taikonauts of the Shenzhou-14 spacecraft return safe and sound,” Zhang Beixi, 13,said.
Yang Lichen is a physics teacher from the city who moderated the event in Dali. He said he is glad to see the students got the opportunity to do some experiments with the taikonauts.
“The experience enables them to better understand the control variable method and related phenomena in a micro-gravity environment. I think the class has planted a seed in the hearts of the children. Maybe some of them will become taikonauts themselves some day,” said Yang.
In fact, the city of Dali has played a special role in the country’s space program in recent years. Space mutation breeding is an important part of space missions. In June, a batch of patented bacterial strains of probiotics from Dali were sent to the space station aboard the Shenzhou-14 crewed spacecraft, the second time the resource was carried to the station.
The Yunnan Space Biotechnology Development Promotion Association organized the event in Yunnan this time. Its vice president, Jiang Xiaowei, said they will take the opportunity to start a series of educational activities. More lectures and seminars will be held across the province.
“For children in the country’s border region, they enjoy fewer resources and opportunities than their peers from the first-tier cities. So I think it’s significant to bring more high-quality science popularization activities to them,” Jiang told CGTN.
World’s largest clean energy corridor supplies China with electricity
As a strong cold wave hits China, the national electricity load has continued to climb. In the face of the coming peak electricity consumption, power companies have made every effort to ensure a safe and stable supply of electricity.
The world’s largest clean energy corridor along China’s Yangtze River produced over 276 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity last year, up 5.34 percent year on year. The increase is equivalent to reducing standard coal consumption by around 83 million tonnes and lowering carbon dioxide emissions by more than 200 million tonnes.
The corridor, consisting of six mega hydropower stations, was completed in December 2022, with the Baihetan hydropower station in its upper section fully operational.
The other five stations along the corridor are the Wudongde, Xiluodu, Xiangjiaba, Three Gorges and Gezhouba power stations.
The six hydropower plants transmit electricity from the resource-rich west to energy-consuming regions in the east, with a total installed capacity of around 71.7 million kilowatts.
The corridor can generate electricity from a single drop of water six times, with an average annual clean energy output of about 300 billion kilowatt-hours, which can meet the annual electricity consumption needs of more than 300 million people.
China plays leading role in world’s transition towards renewable energies: IRENA
China is playing a leading role in the world’s just transition towards renewable energies, the Deputy Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Gauri Singh told Xinhua on Monday on the sidelines of the ongoing World Governments Summit in Dubai.
“China has always played a very important role in renewable energy,” Singh said while extending her greetings to the Chinese people for the Chinese New Year, which falls on February 10.
“The Year of the Dragon embodies the spirit of courage, vitality, and ambition. We all need to be ambitious in how we view our common future and the future of the planet,” she said.
The IRENA, with 169 members, is a leading global intergovernmental organization to promote world renewable transition, support countries in their energy transitions, and provide up-to-date data and analyses on green tech innovation, policy, finance and investment.
Thanks to China’s role as a hub for manufacturing, which drives down green transition costs, a large number of countries were able to advance their national plans more smoothly, according to Singh.
According to the IRENA’s Renewable Capacity Statistics 2023 published in March last year, China accounted for about 48 percent of the increase in global total renewable capacity in 2022.
Two-thirds of the new hydropower capacity, 45 percent of the new solar capacity, half of the new wind capacity, and 57 percent of the new bioenergy capacity in 2022 were installed in China.
“The beauty of what China does is that they just go and just get it done. I think that is a very important aspect of how they’re also looking at international collaboration and cooperation,” Singh said.
Singh added, however, there are three main challenges for the world to overcome in the renewable energy sector.
“One is that we still don’t have the infrastructure in place to support the transition from centralized power plants to renewable energy,” she explained.
“The second remains that this is a sector that’s policy-driven. Policies need to be in place and they need to enable the transition to happen.”
Thirdly, Singh said that more manpower and skills will be required to support the transition.
“We need to make sure that it’s a just energy transition. We can’t leave behind certain parts of the world and move forward because that’s not how it will happen,” she said.
“The role China plays in supporting a lot of developing countries to be able to reform and to build assets in the new energy system is incredible. If that continues and more of it happens, then we will really be able to talk about a just energy transition.”
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is hosting the World Governments Summit from February 12-14 in a bid to help states develop proactive solutions for future challenges.
The 11th edition of the summit brings together more than 4,000 delegates, representatives of international organizations, opinion leaders, and private sector leaders from around the globe.
During the summit, more than 120 government delegations and 80 international organizations are discussing sustainable economic growth, artificial intelligence, future governments, education, healthcare services, food security and urban expansion.
China makes remarkable progress in developing advanced aeroengines
China has developed a series of advanced small- and medium-sized aeroengines represented by “Yulong” (Jade Dragon), AES100, AEF100 and AEP100, according to a symposium on the latest development of domestic aeroengines held in Beijing on Wednesday.
Aeroengine, or aircraft engine, is known as the “pearl in the crown” of modern industry and is a technical peak that is pursued by world powers.
The Yulong turboshaft aeroengine is the first entirely domestically developed engine that has completed the whole process from pre-research, development, mass production, operation to further progress, during which China has formed strong capabilities in product research and development, verification, and system and talent support.
The AES100 engine is developed in strict accordance with airworthiness regulations, featuring an international advanced level in its comprehensive performance.
It can be applied in twin-engine helicopters of 5 to 6 tonnes or single-engine helicopters of 3 to 4 tonnes, for multiple purposes such as sightseeing, patrolling, police service and rescue.
The AEF100 engine meets the power needs of 5-tonne business jets and 3-to-5-tonne high-altitude unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It boasts advanced design of low noise, low emission and high reliability.
The AEP100 engine fits a 3-to-10 tonne UAV or 6-tonne general aircraft and business jet, with economic, safe and reliable features.
The country has also developed hybrid power systems, including the turbine engine powered by hydrogen fuel, which will reduce carbon emissions.
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