Chinese astronauts to visit Namibia

Chinese taikonaut Liu Yang recounts her space experience while attending Thailand's National Science and Technology Fair 2017 at the Muang Thong Thani convention and exhibition center in Bangkok, Thailand, on Aug. 26, 2017. (Photo: Xinhua)

Liu Yang, Chinese first ever female astronaut in space, and another astronaut Chen Dong will visit Namibia from August 19 to 23, according to statement released by Chinese Embassy in Namibia on Thursday.

The statement said the visit aims to respond to the kind invitation of Namibian President Hage Geingob and to enhance communication and cooperation on astronautics between China and Namibia. During his state visit to China last year, Geingob visited China Space Center, interacted with 3 Chinese astronauts, and invited Chinese astronauts to visit Namibia.

"During the visit, the delegation will pay a courtesy call to president Geingob, to meet local middle school learners at Space TT&C Station, and to communicate with students face to face at Namibia University of Science and Technology," according to the statement.

The Chinese Embassy said astronauts are national heroes, their visit to a foreign country always receives a warm welcome from local friends. Their trip to Namibia will become a landmark event of friendly exchange between the two countries.

"In 2010, the first Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei visited Namibia. This will be the second visit of Chinese astronauts to Namibia, highlighting the special relationship of our two countries and the great importance China attaches to our cooperation," the statement further read.

"China and Namibia keep good cooperation in the fields of aerospace on the basis of equality and mutual benefits, China's aerospace development cannot be separated from the support of Namibia. The visit will further strengthen the friendship between the two countries and two peoples," it added.

On June 16, 2012, Liu Yang, as one of the crew of Shenzhou-9, went to the Chinese space station Tiangong-1, becoming the first female Chinese astronaut going into space.

On October 17, 2016, Chen Dong lifted off with Shenzhou-11 for a 33-day space mission to the Tiangong-2 space station as his first spaceflight. The crew landed successfully on November 18, 2016, marking China's longest manned space flight to date.