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Hong Kong Begins Recruitment of Payload Specialists


Hong Kong’s Chief Executive welcomed the country’s recruitment of payload specialists for the first time in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) in the launch of the recruitment of the fourth batch of astronauts.

Payload specialists are professional scientific researchers who are mainly responsible for conducting aerospace experiments or research, operating space laboratory equipment, and managing daily operations of space stations with other astronauts. Preliminary screening of the payload specialist’s recruitment will be arranged by the HKSAR Government, whereas further screening will be conducted by relevant authorities in the Mainland.

The CE stated that the China Manned Space Agency’s recruitment of payload specialists in the HKSAR provides an opportunity for Hong Kong people to realise their space aspirations and contribute to the country. The HKSAR Government will render its full assistance and cooperation to the country’s selection exercise.

The recruitment exercise demonstrates the country’s confidence in Hong Kong’s level of scientific research and development as well as its care for the development of Hong Kong’s young people. He added that the recruitment is also an educational opportunity for all to better understand the country.

Hong Kong’s Deputy Financial Secretary has been tasked with taking charge of cross-bureau coordination as well as publicity and education, and the Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry will be responsible for the selection exercise.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the National Manned Space Programme. Hong Kong has continued to break new ground in aerospace technologies in recent years and has taken a leading position in the global aerospace arena. Hong Kong has a solid foundation in basic scientific research, as well as a good number of scholars and experts who are well recognised both nationally and internationally, the Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau’s press release stated.

Recently, the HKSAR Government has rendered strong support to local universities in conducting research related to aerospace technologies, in which fruitful outcomes were achieved. For example, the “Surface Sampling and Packing System” developed by a local university research team assisted “Chang’e 5” in completing the lunar sample return mission in 2020.

In September 2021, Hong Kong scientific researchers and students were invited to have a real-time dialogue with three astronauts who were carrying out their mission at the Tiangong Space Station. The event received an overwhelming response from the community and served as a testimony to the care and support of the country for Hong Kong. It has also inspired many Hong Kong students to pursue their interests in aerospace. The recruitment of payload specialists in Hong Kong offers hope to many aspiring Hong Kong youths in realising their dreams in astronautical endeavours.

The country’s requirements for candidates of payload specialists have been set out. The recruitment for preliminary screening will mainly be conducted through the following organisations:

  • 11 local universities;
  • five Government research and development (R&D) centres (including Automotive Platforms and Application Systems R&D Centre, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel, Logistics and Supply Chain MultiTech R&D Centre, and Nano and Advanced Materials Institute) and Hong Kong Productivity Council;
  • research institutions/ companies at the Hong Kong Science Park and Cyberport; and
  • Government departments and the Hospital Authority.

Candidates from organisations or companies other than the above may also be considered by the HKSAR Government.

The spokesman stated that the HKSAR Government has been proactively nurturing more innovation and technology talents aimed at developing new blood for Hong Kong and the country to support its development of science and technology. Those who meet the basic requirements are urged to start their aerospace careers and participate in the recruitment exercise.

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