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Six questions about China’s space lecture

(People's Daily Online)

14:30, July 01, 2013

China's first space lecture was held at 10 a.m. on June 20. The teacher is Wang Yaping, the female astronaut on Shenzhou-10 spacecraft. The astronauts completed experiments such as quality measurement, and space simple pendulum, taught the teenagers on the physics principles, and interacted with students on the ground. More than 60 million students and teachers in more than 80,000 high schools across the country listened to or watched synchronously the space lesson.

Are there any unknown secrets behind this lively space lesson? Yesterday, the reporter interviewed the experts of lesson preparation group - two "ground class" physics teachers - to explore the mysteries hidden in the space lesson. "

Question 1: why the lesson began precisely at 10 o'clock?

Di Naiyong, space lesson preparation group leader, said that they selected the time period mainly considering the best effect for information transmission between space and earth. During this time, the spacecraft is closest to the ground, and the ground control stations could contact with astronaut capsule directly, which is better than the communications effect through satellite. During this time the communication effect between space and earth was best, and the picture and sound was very clear.

Question 2: which link of the class people worry about most?

Di said that the panel was more worried about the camera, because hand-held camera filming the scenes on the ground is not easy. It will be more difficult under the condition of weightlessness in the space. "In this lecture the photographer takes a lot of responsibility. The astronaut Zhang Xiaoguang filmed very well without jitter and the ground watching effect was very good."

Question 3: are there any special points about the teaching aids?

Di revealed that teaching aids used by astronauts cant' be magnetic because they cannot disturb other devices, and they should also ensure the safety of the astronauts. For example, the liquid used to make the water ball is the drinking water for the astronauts. Most of the teaching aids brought to the space are the same used in the experiment classes on earth.
Considering the huge shock in launch of the Shenzhou-10, more teaching aids which are easy to be damaged were taken as spare.

Jin Shen, a teacher of space lesson teaching plan group, introduced that the items brought into space is calculated by gram. To carry out the space lesson, the total weight of the teaching aids taken to Tiangong-1 is 2.9 kilograms.

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