Hong Kong’s first astronaut to join Chinese space programme, national agency confirms

China’s space agency on Tuesday announced the selection of its first Hong Kong astronaut, after the Post earlier reported a local policewoman who previously worked in a secret technical services division had been chosen for the national programme.

Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee Ka-chiu described the selection of a city resident to serve as a payload specialist in the country’s manned space programme as a “glorious” moment in history.

“This shows the country’s emphasis on the development of science and technology in Hong Kong and affirms the strength of the city’s innovation and technology talents,” he said before meeting with the Executive Council, the government’s top decision-making body.

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But Lee said the identity of the astronaut would not be disclosed at this stage, in accordance with established rules.

The Post earlier reported that a policewoman who used to work in a secret technical services division was chosen for the national programme. Photo: Xinhua

The Hongkonger was among 10 chosen as the latest batch of astronauts, who also include a Macau resident, the China Manned Space Agency said.

The agency also said the group would soon enter China Astronaut Research and Training Centre for comprehensive and systematic training.

Last month, the Post reported that the officer, a chief inspector holding a doctoral degree, was chosen over more than 80 hopefuls from the city.

She used to work at the force’s secret technical services before she was transferred to the Security Bureau.

In October 2022, Beijing’s space agency said it was looking for two payload specialists for its fourth astronaut intake, with recruitment extended to Hong Kong and Macau for the first time.

The selection process included a three-week recruitment drive, with 14 spots available.

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