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Pupils talk to the aces of space
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A group of Shanghai pupils will have the chance to talk with astronauts on board the international space station in late December, local education officials said yesterday.

Sponsored by the Shanghai Education Commission, about 20 children will take part - including Special Olympic athletes, children of migrant workers and students from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region and the Yangtze River Delta.

Students will be allowed to ask about 20 questions in English of astronauts during the 10-minute dialogue.

The commission has begun selecting candidates under the age of 14. Local school pupils can submit their applications or questions to the Shanghai Youth Center of Science and Technology Education.

All the questions will be vetted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the United States before NASA confirms the talk's exact date next month.

Primary school students will also have opportunity to hear the dialogue through 156 campus radio stations across the city, commission officials said.

"The 10-minute dialogue might be very short, but the most important thing is to boost knowledge of the astronauts' work and wireless telecoms among youngsters," said Lu Xiaoming, the youth center director.

The discussion is part of a series of events to be held jointly by the education commission and the Shanghai Bureau of Astronautics.

On November 4, students will watch a video of the launch of China's first moon orbiter, Chang'e I, which is scheduled to take off today from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province.

(Shanghai Daily October 24, 2007)

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