Hong Kong News

Nonpartisan, Noncommercial, unconstrained.
Thursday, Feb 09, 2023

Hong Kong scientists and engineers eye rare chance to join Chinese space mission

Hong Kong scientists and engineers eye rare chance to join Chinese space mission

Members of several academic institutions confirm colleagues and students are interested in signing up for rigorous screening process for payload specialist roles.

Scientists and engineers in Hong Kong have responded enthusiastically to Beijing’s decision to extend a recruitment drive for the country’s space programme to the city, with a number of academics expressing an interest in applying.

Earlier this month, the China Manned Space Agency said candidates from Hong Kong and Macau would be eligible for the first time to apply for two positions as payload specialists. Applications opened on October 6 and will close in less than three weeks’ time.

A source from the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute on Tuesday said six researchers there were considering submitting their applications.

“More and more colleagues are showing interest to apply for it. So we won’t reveal their names because we need to be fair to other interested colleagues,” the insider said.

“People might drop out because of family matters. So we won’t have a final announcement until the deadline.”

Professor Quentin Parker, director of the University of Hong Kong’s Laboratory for Space Research, said several of his students had expressed interest in the screening process.

“They’re just wondering how qualified they are, the thing is that most of them are too young because the current call is some people between 30 and 45,” he said.

“So, of course, that call would go out for people who have already graduated with a PhD and already perhaps working in universities or in our industry in Hong Kong or elsewhere.”

Payload specialists are generally recruited from candidates with a strong background in science or engineering, with the role requiring individuals to oversee highly complex or classified on-board equipment, in addition to carrying out functions such as astronautical measurements.

Professor Quentin Parker, director of the University of Hong Kong’s Laboratory for Space Research.


According to the listed criteria from the space agency, candidates must be Chinese nationals with Hong Kong permanent residency. The programme also sought those deemed to have a patriotic background and adhered to the “one country, two systems” governing policy, in addition to upholding both the state and local constitutions.

Physical requirements included an age range of 30 to 45, while height restrictions were 1.62 to 1.75 metres for men and 1.60 to 1.75 metres for women.

Applicants were also required to hold a doctoral degree and have a minimum of three years of professional working experience.

Parker said that one of his students, a Hong Kong Chinese resident with a PhD in engineering, was extremely keen to apply but was concerned about the physical requirements.

“The only issue is that he’s worried he might be a bit too tall,” he said.

The laboratory director stressed that applicants from Hong Kong had a strong chance of getting into the programme, despite its strict age limit and physical requirements.

“We have three universities that are among the top 15 in the world. All we need is aspirational young people. We don’t need more lawyers and bankers. We need more space scientists. This is absolutely a great opportunity,” he said.

A source from the University of Science and Technology said several researchers at the institution had expressed interest in applying for the position.

Professor William Wong Kam-fai, the associate dean at Chinese University’s faculty of engineering, also said several of his students hoped to sign up.

Self-confidence was crucial for any prospective candidates hoping to sign up, he said, adding it was difficult to say whether someone from Hong Kong had a good chance of joining the programme.

“The universities in Hong Kong and in the mainland are equivalently capable in terms of scientific research and academic achievements,” he said.

“It’s all down to whether the applicants have self-confidence and a willingness to contribute to the country.”

Scholars from Polytechnic University also planned to step forward, with a spokesman confirming several research assistant professors and postdoctoral researchers had taken an interest.

The university would also continue to expand its scientific research across various disciplines and push to participate in national space missions, he added.

Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Professor Sun Dong has called the recruitment drive a rare opportunity for Hong Kong to develop its own aerospace industry.


The Hong Kong Productivity Council, a government body that supports the city’s business sector, said it had approached existing and former staff, in addition to industry partners, to help identify suitable candidates. It added that some employees had already expressed an interest in applying.

Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry Sun Dong had earlier said there could be some flexibility on the age limit for the advertised positions, but the final decision would rest with national authorities.

Hong Kong could also utilise the opportunity to enhance the development of its aerospace sector, with avenues for growth including education and research and industry, he said.

Newsletter

Related Articles

Hong Kong News
Close
0:00
0:00
China has declined the US's request for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to speak with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe after the US Air Force shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon, according to the Pentagon
The five largest oil companies in the West generated combined profits of nearly $200 billion in 2022, which has led to increased calls for governments to impose tougher windfall taxes
2 earthquakes in Turkey killed over 2,300 people
Powerful Earthquake Strikes Turkey and Syria, Killing More Than 1,300 People.
Turkish photographer Ugur Gallenkus portrays two different worlds within a single image. Brilliant work
Charlie Munger, calls for a ban on cryptocurrencies in the US, following China's lead
Hong Kong airlines taking bold action after the years of pandemic lockdown and travel restrictions, to make Hong Kong great again
EU found a way to use frozen Russian funds
First generation unopened iPhone set to fetch more than $50,000 at auction.
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Chinese search giant Baidu to launch ChatGPT like AI chatbot.
What is ChatGPT?
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
China is opening up for foreign investors.
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
China's first population drop in six decades
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
China relaxes 'red lines' on property sector borrowing in policy pivot
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Vietnam removes two deputy PMs amid anti-corruption campaign
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
China’s recovery could add 1% to Australia’s GDP: JPMorgan 
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
China vows to strengthen financial support for enterprises: official
International medical experts speak out against COVID-19 restrictions on China
2 Billion People To Travel In China's "Great Migration" Over Next 40 Days
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
Flight constraints expected to weigh on China travel rebound
Billionaire Jack Ma relinquishes control of Ant Group
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Teslas now over 40% cheaper in China than US
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
China seeks course correction in US ties but will fight ‘all forms of hegemony’, top diplomat Wang Yi says
China will boost spending in 2023
African traders welcome end of China’s Covid travel curbs
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
×