To infinity and beyond

Space-bound cooperation between Namibia and China

27 August 2019 | Education

Elizabeth Joseph

Namibia and China continue to partner in space science and technology.

With partnership and support between the Peoples’ Republic of China and Namibia, the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) hosted the first Chinese female astronaut, Liu Yang, and the record-holder of the longest stay (33 days) in space amongst Chinese astronauts, Chen Dong, on 22 August.

A partnership that was signed in the year 2000 by the late Theo Ben-Gurirab is being nurtured every year through initiatives that the Chinese and Namibian governments undertake together.

Space science and technology plays a huge role in Namibia and Nust thus offers resources that can help students broaden their understanding of space.

“It is no surprise that our university is hosting this event, because we have had a keen interest in space science and technology, so it just made sense,” a Nust official said.

Chen said he sees Namibia as an old friend and not a new acquaintance.

“I can see the curiosity and longing from the students for a career in space technology and that of being an astronaut,” he said.

Liu mentioned that she never stopped working toward her dreams.

“It is hard work, but it is worth it. I hope to start working in our space station as soon as it is ready,” she added.

The space station is set to become a reality and the Chinese government wants to start as soon as 2020.

Presently, Namibia and the Peoples’ Republic of China work hand-in-hand in the science and technology fields, as Namibia hosts China’s telemetry, tracking and command station that tracks the re-entry of Chinese-manned space vehicles.

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