Shenzhou-9 astronauts in Macao

At the invitation of the Macao SAR Government, the delegation of the Tiangong-1/Shenzhou-9 manned space docking and rendezvous mission arrived in Macao for a three-day visit.
The 42-member delegation, comprising the Head of the delegation, the Deputy Commander of China Manned Space Engineering, Mr Niu Hongguang, the three astronauts—Mr Jiang Haipeng, Mr Liu Wang and Ms Liu Yang -- and commanders and designers of the manned space programme, arrived in Macao at 4.30pm. They were received by the Secretary for Transport and Public Works, Mr Lau Si Io, the Director of the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in Macao Special Administrative Region, Mr Bai Zhijian, the Commander of the People's Liberation Army Macao Garrison, Mr Xu Jinlin and the members of the Science and Technology Council.
More than 500 local students and members of the public welcomed the delegation with applauses: four students presented flowers to the astronauts. The three astronauts waved back and presented gifts to the crowd.
The delegation then headed to Government Headquarters to meet with the Chief Executive, Mr Chui Sai On. They have exchanged views on joint co-operation on space science education for Macao adolescents.
Mr Chui said that the Government has been supporting and encouraging Macao students to cultivate interest on aerospace technology, and that he hoped this visit would enable more people to meet with the astronauts and share the successful experience of the mission.
Head of the delegation, Mr Liu Hongguang, said he would co-ordinate with the Macao Government, by strengthening co-operation, to bring up more students' interests on aerospace industry, which might help them raise their sense of national identity.
Mr Chui then posed for a group photo with the delegation, after which the delegation presented the model of Tiangong-1/Shenzhou-9 manned space docking and rendezvous mission to the Chief Executive.
After the meeting, the delegation attended the welcome banquet hosted by the Macao Government where some 120 guests attended, including the vice chairman of the CPPCC National Committee, Mr Edumund Ho Hau Wah, Macao Government officials, and representatives of Central Government organizations.
Mr Chui said in the welcome speech that the success of the Tiangong-1/Shenzhou-9 manned space docking and rendevous mission remarked a new milestone of the country's aerospace industry, it is also an important symbol of comprehensive national strength.
The Macao people will take the astronuant heroes as model and dedicate all efforts to implement the principle of "One country, two systems" for the prosperity of the motherland and Macao, he said.
Head of the delegation, Mr Niu Hongguang, delievered a speech and said that this year is the 20th anniversary of China's manned space industry, and that the manned space station was in developing stage. He said they were willing to support Macao's research institutions and scientists to participate the development of manned space station.
The delegation will attend the Shenzhou 9 Manned Spaceflight Report Meeting, an experience sharing session with local sudents and a welcome variety show tomorrow.

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