Almost 50 Hong Kong residents have joined the space race as the application deadline for China's first astronaut recruitment program for Hong Kong and Macau winds its way to a finish today.
The applicants are scientists at universities, IT institutions and enterprises.
Chinese space authorities are looking for two payload specialists - engineers who conduct or oversee scientific experiments and tests - from Hong Kong and Macau to join the nation's space missions.
The recruitment program started on October 6 and ends tonight at 11.59 pm.
Xinhua News Agency said 12 to 14 astronauts will be recruited, including seven to eight pilots, three to four engineers and two payload specialists.
Pilots will be selected from among serving pilots of the People's Liberation Army, while engineers and payload specialists will be researchers in expert fields.
Deputy Financial Secretary Michael Wong Wai-lun said on Facebook
that the "reaction to the recruitment from all walks of life was overwhelming."
"This is a precious opportunity for Hong Kong residents to realize their aerospace dreams. We are very impressed and encouraged by the willingness of scientific talents to participate, and we are very proud of these Hong Kong elites," he said, urging people determined to contribute to the country in aerospace to take advantage of this last chance and apply immediately.
Applications are open to talented individuals from 11 local universities, five public research centers, the Hong Kong Productivity Council, research institutions in Cyberport and Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, government departments and the Hospital Authority.
Candidates must be aged 30 to 45 and be in peak physical condition, with men expected to be 162 to 175 centimeters tall and women 160 to 175cm. They musty have a doctorate and have at least three years of professional experience.
They should not suffer from allergies or altitude sickness, and experts will determine whether those who have recovered from a Covid
infection can be considered.
Wong uploaded a video on his social media page with Yung Kai-leung, director of Research Centre for Deep Space Explorations at the Polytechnic University, who has participated in many national space engineering studies, when he visited the special aerospace showcase area of the InnoCarnival 2022 at the Hong Kong Science Park on Tuesday.